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Purchased by the 
Mrs. Robert Lenox Kennedy Church History Fund. 

BR 555 .04 W4 

Kennedy, William Sloane, 

The plan of union 











JUN 10 1030 









" Thus saith the Lord, Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, 
where is the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls." 




Entered, according to Act of Congress, in the year 1856, by 


In the Clerk^s Office of the District Court, for the Northern 

District of Ohio. 


The present can only be understood through a knowledge of 
the past ; and only by understanding both past and present 
can we rightly conduct the future. Where valuable institu- 
tions have been laboriously erected, and afterward have fallen 
into disrepute, and been misunderstood and reprobated, and 
their origin aspersed, there is no better way to learn the truth, 
and do justice to them, than to study well their origin and 
growth. To furnish facilities for such a study of the churches 
and ecclesiasticism of the Reserve, as well as to perpetuate the 
memory of good men, and of events connected with the forma- 
tion of our social and religious life, is the object of this little 

The materials here wrought into narrative have been collected 
from sources too varied to admit of detailed reference to au- 
thorities. The Connecticut Evangelical Magazine and a file of 
the Ohio Observer, the journals and memories of early mission- 


iv Preface. 

aries and pioneers, and the records of churches and presbyte- 
ries, are the general sources from which I have drawn. 

The author can not hope that this first effort to write a re- 
ligious history of the Reserve is, in all respects, perfect ; but 
his aim has been to give the facts in all cases; and such cor- 
rections as may be properly suggested to him, shall be carefully 
registered, and regarded in a future edition, should there be a 
demand for it. That prejudiced partisans and misinformed 
outsiders will object to many things here stated, the writer 
must expect. But time and candor will verify the record, and 
truth will prevail. 




CHAP. I. Early Settlement of the Reserve 7 

CHAP. II. First Missionary Efforts 11 

llev. Wm.Wick.... M 

llev. Joseph Badger 18 

Rev. E. F. Chapin 23 

Rev. Thomas Robbins 24 

CHAP. III. Remarkable Revivals 26 

CHAP. IV. Presbyterian Missionaries 35 

Rev. N. Pettinger 30 

Rev. James Boyd 36 

Rev. Abi-aham Scott 37 

Revs. James Scott and J. Leslie 40 

Revs. John Beer and John Bruce 41 

Rev. Thomas Barr 41 

CHAP. V. Increase of New England Missionaries 55 

Rev. David Bacon 55 

Rev. N. B. Derrow 56 

Rev. Giles IL Cowles 57 

Rev. John Field 60 

Rev. John Seward 60 

Rev. Harvey Coe 03 

Rev. Simeon Woodruff CO 

llev. William Hanford 72 

Rev. Luther Humphrey JO 

Rev. Joseph Treat '7 

Rev. Caleb Pitkin -. 7'J 

Statistical Table of Ministers and churches down to 1836.. 82 

Statistics and notes of churches down to 1836 94 

Later statistics down to 1862 130 



CHAP. I. Ecclesiasticlsm 143 

Plan of Union 150 

Orgaiiizition of Churches 165 

CHAP. II. Organization of Presbyteries and Synod 160 

Presbytery of Grand lliver 1G8 

Articles to regulate Grand River Presbytery IGi) 

Confession of Faith of Grand lliver Presbytery 172 

Articles to regulate churches of G. R. Presbytery 175 

Presbytery of Huron 180 

Organization of the Western Reserve Synod 182 

CHAP. III. Congregationalism against the Un on 180 

The Oberlin Movement 196 

Esquire Hudson 204 

CongregatioMalism and the Presbyterian Excision 205 

Congregational State Conference of Ohio 209 

Huron Conference 213 

CHAP. IV. Presbyterian Assembly against the Union 221 

The Excision •_>22 

CHAP. V. Conclusion of Ecclesiasticistn 228 

CHAP. VI. Educational Measures and Institutions 23a 

Western Reserve College 2oG 

Oberlin Collegiate Institute 244 

CHAP. VII. Benevolent Operations 2.J2 

Missionary Society of Connecticut 2.J2 

American Home Missionary Society 25") 

Wes. Res. Branch of the American EducationSociety ...256 
Was. Res. Agency of the A. B. C. F. M 250 

EttRATA. — On pngo 213, ninth line from bottom, for ♦'compressive" 
read "comprehensive ;" and in the eighth line from bottom of tamo 
page, for "portress" read ♦'progress." 





" The names and memories of the Just 
Smell sweet, and blossom in the dust." 







The Religious History of a people can not be fully under- 
stood without some knowledge of their origin, social character, 
and aims. This is pre-eminently true of communities com- 
posed of various and heterogeneous elements. 

The Western Reserve, or Connecticut Reservation, occupy- 
ing the northern and eastern portion of Ohio; extending from 
Lake Erie, fifty miles south, upon an average, and from the 
Pennsylvania line, westward, about one hundred and twenty 
miles ; was mainly colonized by NewEnglanders : yet the pop- 
ulation embraced enough of the more southern element, gene- 
rally called the Pennsylvania or Virginia type of society, to 
produce some marked social and religious features, wholly un- 
like the New England character. 

The marriage thus consummated between the Pennamite and 
the Yankee, uniting the shrewd enterprise of the latter to the 
patient industry of the former, produced that unsurpassed en- 
ergy, enterprise, and intelligence, which, notwithstanding its 


8 The Plan of Union. 

moderate natural resourceSj have given Northern Ohio a pros- 
perity and prominence unsurpassed by any region of equal ex- 
tent in the whole West. 

At the time settlements began to be formed in this region, 
there were no roads west of Buffalo, and few boats upon Lake 
Erie. The immigrants were obliged to work their way through 
the forests, and over the rivers and marshes of the intervening 
wilderness, as best they could. 

The first settlement in Northern Ohio grew out of a survey- 
ing party, sent out from Connecticut and Massachusetts, in 
1796, by the New England Association that had purchased 
this Keservation. The party arrived at Conneaut on the Fourth 
of July, and celebrated the national anniversary in such patri- 
otic fashion as circumstances permitted. Their muskets, though 
light artillery, awoke a new era in the history of the region, 
and introduced the spirit of Seventy-six. 

The surveyors were soon followed by Judge James Kings- 
bury, with his family, seeking a home in the wilderness. Elijah 
Gunn and a Mr. Stiles, whose families had accompanied the sur- 
veyors, remained, after the latter returned, in the Fall of ninety- 
six, and formed the first settlements upon the Lake Shore. 

About the same time that Mr. Kingsbury settled at Conne- 
aut and Mr. Stiles at Cleveland, Messrs. Young, Walcot, and 
Hillman located at Youngstown, near the south-east corner of 
the Reserve. These men came from Pittsburg, and thus 
Pennsylvanians and New Englanders planted their settlements, 
in the same year, upon different parts of the territory. 

Each of the little colonies received yearly accessions. But 
as every family of adventurers was anxious to locate upon 

Early Settlement. 9 

lands purchased in different parts of the Reserve, the immi- 
grants scattered themselves over all the region east of the Cuy- 
ahoga, and that whole territory was settled almost simultane- 
ously, though slowly. 

This increased the difficulty of establishing religious institu- 
tions, and maintaining public worship, and greatly increased the 
privations, dangers, and hardships of the colonists. 

The two routes, from Buffalo and Pittsburg, continued to be 
traversed by immigrants, most of those from New England 
and New York taking the northern route ; though some New 
Englanders took the southern way, and mingled with those 
who came from Pennsylvania and Virginia. 

We can not here delay to recount the privations, hardships, 
and sufferings encountered by the pioneers, both on the jour- 
ney and after reaching their destination. They were such as 
adventurers into solitary and uncultivated wildernesses always 
experience. Toil, exposure, hunger, contests with wild beasts 
and Indians, the disadvantages of isolation, absence of roads, 
and destitution of all the mechanical conveniences found in old 
settlements, and, worse than all, in the estimation of many 
pious adventurers, the absence of schools, churches, and all 
that adorns a civilized and Christian country, entered into the 
trials of these pioneers. 

In the year 1800, a census was taken, which gave a popula- 
tion of 1144. " As yet,'' writes the Rev. John Seward, from 
whose valuable ^'Recollections" quotations shall be frequently * 
made, ''no law, civil or military, was known, but every one 
proceeded according to his own views of right and wrong ; and 
less difficulty was experienced, in this state of things, than 

10 The Plan of Union. 

might have been expected/^ In 1800, the whole Reserve was 
formed into a county, called Trumbull ; justices' commissions 
were issued to several men in different parts of the region, and 
quarterly courts appointed at Warren, the county seat. Here, 
also, was held the first election, in the Autumn of 1800, to 
choose a Representative to the Territorial Legislature. 



Amongst the immigrants who settled the Reserve were 
many pious people, both from New England and Pennsylvania, 
who regarded the destitution of religious privileges amongst 
their severest trials; and who, from the first, cherished the 
hope of soon building up churches upon the new territory. 
Nor were the churches of the East forgetful of their brethren, 
scattered over western wilds, "like sheep having no shepherd." 

Hence, as early as the fall of 1800, we find two ministers 
in the field; the one. Rev. William Wick, a Presbyterian, belong- 
ing to the Synod of Pittsburg ; the other. Rev. Joseph Badger, 
a Congregationalist, sent out by the Missionary Society of 

These men, the ministerial pioneers, and true fathers of the 
Church of the Reserve, represented the two types of society, 
social and religious, that were here brought together. And 
happily, both the people and the ministers were free enough 
from all clannish and partisan sentiments and feelings, to unite 
heartily both in their social and religious enterprises. Mingled 


12 The Pli-n of Union. 

together as were the Yankees and Pennaraites, Congregation- 
alists and Presbyterians, though remembering their ancestry, 
and cherishing their peculiar sentiments and attachments, in 
the true spirit of patriotic colonists, and charitable Christians, 
they suppressed their individual preferences far enough, to 
unite cordially in forming a new society, and harmonious though 
peculiar churches. 

In their isolation and loneliness, the Christians of the Reserve 
were too glad to meet any with whom they could hold Chris- 
tian intercourse, to ask particularly after each other's ecclesias- 
tical connections and sentiments. And the minister who, com- 
ing amongst them, preached " Christ crucified " did not need to 
preach denominationalism, in order to secure their attention 
and affection. 

In the absence of churches they gathered together in cabin, 
shop, or school-house, to mingle their worship and study the 
word of Grod. And when a Missionary visited a settlement, 
all rallied around him to hear the Word of Life. 

The East had indeed sent its sceptics and scoffers and its indif- 
ferent worldlings, and backsliders : and there were not wanting 
those who would have gladly excluded the Gospel and its institu- 
tions from the region. But the prevailing sentiment was in 
favor of sustaining religious services, and building up Christian 

The only general types of Christians at first found here, were 
Presbyterians and Orthodox Congregationalists. Other denom- 
inations gradually came in ; the Methodists, particularly, as in 
other pioneer regions, bearing a part in the evangelization 
of the wilderness. 

Early Missionary Efforts. 13 

Our object is to trace simply the missionary labors and 
successes of the two leading denominations, which in reality 
were one. For so heartily did Presbyterians and Congrega- 
tionalists unite in their new enterprises, that a difference was 
hardly recognized amongst them. But as each element, though 
almost unconciously and insensibly, somewhat colored and 
gave character to the institutions and piety of the country, we 
should carfully note the origin and ecclesiastical affinities of the 
missionaries. What is peculiar in Western Reserve ecclesias- 
ticism finds its explanation mainly in the character and habits 
of the immigrants and their missionaries. 

Ecclesiasticism was a word hardly known or used by the 
early Christians and churches of the Keserve. The latter grew 
up spontaneously and naturally, under such formative influ- 
ences as God,by his providence threw arround them. The Mis- 
sionaries like the early disciples of Christianity, " went every- 
where preaching the Word,'^ and collecting the few believers into 
groups and churches; suffering them for the most part to arrange 
the minutia of their organizations and discipline, according to 
their own convictions, guided by the Word of God, and partly 
by their former opinions and practices. Where there were 
differing elements and opinions, the effort was invariably made to 
secure charity, mutual concession and co-operation. 

As we can best understand the work accomplished, by becom- 
ing acquainted with the workmen, and following them in their 
labors, the reader is now presented with a brief sketch of the 
life of each of the early Missionaries, in the order of their ar- 
rival, up to the time when the Presbyteries began to be organ- 


14 The Plan of Union. 


The first minister who came to the Western Reserve, so far 
as now appears, and also the first who was installed Pastor in 
this field, was the Rev. William Wick. 

Mr. Wick was born at Southampton, Long Island, in 1768. 
He was brought up in New York City, and subsequently re- 
moved, with his father's family, to Pennsylvania. He received 
his collegiate education at Jefferson College, Canonsburg, Pa., 
and studied Theology with Rev. John McMillan, D. D., be- 
ing a member of his first class in Theology. Mr. Wick was 
licensed to preach on the 28th of August, 1799, and preached 
his first sermon at Youngstown, 0., the field of his future 
ministerial labors, upon the first of September following his 

A church was soon organized, and in the following year 
Mr. Wick removed his family to Youngstown, and upon the 
third of September, 1800, was ordained and installed as Pastor 
of the two churches of Youngstown and Hopewell. To these 
churches his labors were mainly devoted ; though a part of his 
time was afterward given to missionary labors in the destitute 

Mr. Wick was connected with Hartford (afterward Beaver) 
Presbytery, and the Synod of Pittsburg, as were most of the 
early ministers on the Reserve ; that being the nearest eccle- 
siastical body with which they could connect. 

Probably Mr. W. at first received pecuniary aid from the 
Presbytery ; afterward he received an appointment from the 
Connecticut Missionary Society. 

Early Missionary Efforts. 15 

The first intimation discovered of this, is dated April 27, 
1807. Rev. Calvin Chapin, of Connecticut, had visited the 
Reserve, and through Rev. Mr. Hughes made a proposition to 
Hartford Presbytery, in behalf of the Connecticut Missionary 
Society, to the effect that, if the Presbytery would furnish 
ministers for the Reserve, the Connecticut Society would sup- 
port them. 

Mr. Chapin writes to Mr. Wick as follows, after expressions 
of personal esteem and affection, and some statements relating 
to the distribution of books on the Reserve : 

" The Trustees feel most deeply for the people in New Connecticut. 
They appointed a considerable number of missionaries, hoping that 
three or four of them would consent to go into your country. But 
none have yet consented ; and I can not learn that they will. We will 
certainly however send out some as soon as we can find the suitable 
men, who are willing to go. But the truth is, our preaching people 
in this region have not courage or zeal enough to lead them so far. 
They view it as a great undertaking, and say, ' We have missionary 
ground enough nearer home.' Nevertheless, Christ will provide for 
his flock in that wilderness. I have much hope from the plan which 
I suppose Brother Hughes has, before this, presented to your Pres- 
bytery, or Synod, or both. I doubt not it meets your approbation, 
and will of course have your cordial assistance. Furnish us with 
suitable men, and we will pay them as we do our missionaries from 
this quarter." 

Here we see the spirit of love to Christ, rising above all 
local and sectarian prejudice, and drawing together in frater- 
nal co-operation, all who were interested to see Christianity ad- 
vance upon the new territory. The Connecticut brethren did 

61 ThePlanof Uni;on. 

not think to stop and inquire whether the "milk from their 
Conf^reo-ational cows, might not be churned into Presbyterian 
butter" by the Synod of Pittsburg ! 

Mr. Wick labored some time as a missionary under the pat- 
ronage of the Connecticut Society. His last commission, dat- 
ed Hartford, Jan. 17, 1815, was as follows : 

" Rev. Sir — You are hereby appointed Missionary by the Trustees 
of the Missionary Society of Connecticut, for the term of one year, 
unless sooner recalled by the Board ; to labor for such a part of the 
time as you can be spared from your stated charge, in New Connec- 
ticut and such other parts of Ohio, as you shall think it expedient to 

<'In the name of the Trustees. 

"ABEL FLINT, Secretary." 

The above commission, though not "recalled by the Board," 
was soon recalled by a higher authority. Mr. Wick preached 
his last sermon on the 13 th of February following. He was 
now in extremely feeble health. At Hopewell the congrega- 
tion was invited to his own house, and addressed by him, after 
he became too feeble to go out. His death occurred on the 
29th of March, 1815, at the age of 48 years. 

In person Mr. W. "was tall and thin in flesh." In dispo- 
sition he was "calm, mild and amiable, some times sorrowful, 
but never angry," says one who had the best opportunity to 
know. " In Theology," says the same authority, " he was 
what Was then called a General Atonement man ; though not 
so much a stickler for doctrines, as for consistent practice and 
devoted, earnest piety." We hear also of "incidents, straits 

Early Missionary Efforts. 17 

and trials, when," says a daughter, '^ he used to call us around 
him and say, ^ Let us pray.' '' 

A paper left by Mr. Wick, entitled, ^^Articles of Practice 
for a Church," being probably the one adopted by the churches 
organized by him, begins as follows : 

'' This Church adopts the regulations proposed by the General As- 
sembly of the Presbyterian Church in America, and approved by the 
General Association of the State of Connecticut, June 16, 1801, for 
the promotion of union and harmony among the people of the new 
settlements." ^ 

Mrs. Wick "lived till about 1835. She was a woman of 
strong faith, clear views, deeply pious, had more than ordina- 
ry perseverance, and died as the Christian dies." 

As Mr. W. labored part of the time in Pennsylvania, and 
had from the first a stated charge, he acted perhaps a less 
prominent part in forming the churches on the Reserve, than 
some others; but he left his mark, and such an one as a good 
man would wish to leave. It is noteworthy that this first min- 
ister settled upon the Reserve, was settled for life. Many an 
early settler remembers and speaks with affection of the min- 
isterial labors of good ''Willie Wick." Several of his children 
are still living. Most of the above facts were furnished by 
Calvin Wick, Mrs. Phebe Anderson and Mrs. Eliza Wood, 
children of Mr. Wick. 

18 The Plan of Union. 


The second minister, and first regular missionary, upon the 
Reserve, was the Rev. Joseph Badger. As there is a biogra- 
phy of Mr. Badger extant, the reader is referred to that for 
the details of his life and experience. 

Having graduated at Yale College, in 1785, when twenty- 
eight years of age, Mr. Badger studied Theology with Rev. 
Mr. Leavenworth, in Waterbury ; and was licensed to preach 
in October, 1786. He was settled as a pastor at Blanford, 
Mass., until October, 1800, when he was dismissed, to accept 
an appointment, under the Connecticut Missionary Society, as 
a missionary to the Western Reserve. Leaving his family, he 
took the southern route, by Pittsburg, traveling on horseback, 
and reached '^ the cabin" of Rev. Mr. Wick, at Youngstown, 
about the last of December. Of Mr. Wick he wrote ; 

" Mr. Wick was settled in charge of three small settlements, Hope- 
well, Neshanoc and Youngstown, a few weeks before I reached the 
Reserve. I was received by this brother and his wife as a familiar 

The next Sabbath, the last Sabbath of the year 1800, Mr. 
Badger preached his first sermon on the Reserve, at Youngs- 

He immediately commenced visiting the little settlements, 
and preaching" to the few families that composed them. Ver- 
non, Warren, Canficld, Poland and Boardman, each of which 
contained from three to six families, were successively visited. 
He wrote — 

Early Missionary Efforts. 19 

" Here and there I found professing Christians, mourning the loss 
of former privileges, and wondering. why they had come to this wil- 
derness, where there was no house of worship nor gospel ordinances. 
I told them that they had been moved here by the hand of God, to 
plant the Church in this wilderness." 

In a letter to the Missionary Society, dated June 23, 1801, 
he wrote — 

*' I have spent my time till now in about twelve townships, in the 
south-east part of the Reserve, excepting four Sabbaths spent in 
Pennsylvania, after attending Presbytery at Washington, Pa. There 
appears a general disposition among the people to hear, and in some 
instances real conviction." 

We here discover how naturally, and how soon, this New 
England missionary began to cultivate Presbjterial acquaint- 
ances. Why should he have been seeking ministerial society 
and sympathy amongst the Pennamites, or why should they 
have welcomed this forerunner of Congregationalism ? Why 
did not he and Mr. Wick start rival churches in Youngstown, 
and each get his half of the dozen families found there ? 
Truly these pioneers were very poor proselyters ! Or, was it 
that '' the love of Christ constrained them f" 

Mr. Badger visited the northern and western settlements of 
the Reserve, and made a tour to the Indians on the Maumee, 
to see what prospects offered for establishing a mission amongst 
them. Returning to Hudson in October, and thence striking 
across to Austinburg, he organized a church at the latter place 
on the 24th of October, consisting of ten male members and 
six female. This was the first church organized by a New 

20 ThePlan OF Union. 

England man, on the Reserve; and the second, and only 
church after that at Youngstown, organized in this field be- 
fore the year 1802. The church at Youngstown was Presby- 
terian in form, that at Austinburg Congregational. 

Mr. Badger soon returned to New England for his family. 

The Trustees of the Missionary Society wrote in reference to 
Mr. Badger's tour — 

* • The call for missionaries to that territory will increase. Another 
will be sent as soon as a suitable person can be found for the seryice, 
and two or more missionaries will be kept there continually. Mr. 
Badger visited every settlement and almost every family, and all the 
schools, catechizing and instructing the children, preaching almost 
daily, and performing all kinds of ministerial service. He also occa- 
Blonally went into Pennsylvania, where he attended two Presbyteries, 
preached, and visited families." 

At the solicitation of the Society, Mr. Badger, with his wife 
and six children, immediately prepared to leave their eastern 
home and migrate to the Reserve. The compensation offered 
was only seven dollars per week. Having loaded a wagon 
with what little furniture and goods could be thus transported, 
they started on the 23d of February, 1802, for Austinburg, 
by the northern route. Of this tedious, winter journey, much 
of the way through unsettled forests, we can imagine the hard- 
ships. But the severest trial was that of taking a family of 
children beyond the reach of schools, and into savage wilds, 
with scarcely means adequate to secure them food and cloth- 
ing. Faith equal to Abraham's was needed. 

Reaching Austinburg about the last of April, Mr. Badger 
secured a lot of land, '^ built a cabin of round logs, without a 

Early Missionary Efforts. 21 

chink, and only floored half over with split stufi", and partly 
roofed with boards from Austin's mill, with no chimney/' By 
perseverance and toil a quantity of provisions were secured and 
a cow purchased. This accomplished, he was ready for another 
missionary tour amongst the settlements, upon which he imme- 
diately entered. His circuit this time lay through Painesville, 
Cleveland, Hudson, and thence eastward to the places where 
he first preached, and homeward. We readily conceive the 
joy of the pious settlers at his return. 

At Hudson he organized a church, in which Deacon Thomp- 
son, Esquire Hudson, and twelve other persons were embraced. 
This tour was completed in September. Mr. Badger attended 
a meeting of the Synod at Pittsburg, upon the last Wednesday 
of that month ; and in October returned home ^' to build a 
chimney, chink and plaster the cracks in his cabin, put a floor 
over the vacant half, and otherwise prepare his family for win- 
ter." This done, he started upon another preaching tour, 
which occupied the whole winter. A church was organized at 
Poland during this tour. Of course, great toils, hardships and 
sufferings were encountered during these peregrinations, of 
which the reader may find an account in the Biography. 

Under a mistaken view of the destitution and trials of mis- 
sionaries on the Reserve, the Trustees of the Connecticut Mis- 
sionary Society in January, 1803, voted to reduce their pay to six 
dollars per week. Mr. Badger, by letter and through friends, 
represented to them the impossibility of supporting his family 
on such a salary ; but they persisted in this bhnd and cruel 
policy, and he continued to toil on, amidst all conceivable trials 
and straits, until January 1st, 1806, when he felt compelled 

22 The Plan OF Union. 

to close his labors, under the Society of Connecticut and offer 
himself to the Western Missionary Society at Pittsburg. 
Under their patronage he went as a missionary to the 
"Wyandotte Indians, in the Sandusky region, where he toiled 
faithfully for many years. 

For the latter years of his laborious and useful life, es- 
pecially at Gustavus, after his return to the Reserve, see Me- 
moir. A few paragraphs only need be quoted to show the sen- 
timents of this venerable Father upon some of those subjects 
which have since distracted our churches. ^'He was a mem- 
ber of a Congregational Association in Massachusetts, and 
retained his ecclesiastical preferences; yet he was the first to 
unite with a Presbytery on the plan of union." 

''When the subject of Temperance came up he took an 
active part in forming a Temperance Society, pledging the 
members to abstinence from ardent spirits as a beverage/' His 
sentiments on the subject of Americn Slavery are represented 
to have been "in decided opposition to it as a sin; a moral and 
a natural evil; while he thought that harsh measures and severe 
denudations would never induce the slaveholder to relinquish 
the right granted to him by the Constitution and the National 
Government ; and if mild means and moral suasion would not 
convince him of the evil, it must remain until some Divine 
Providence should interfere. He accordingly said but little on 
the subject." 

"In the Winter of 1744 he removed to Perrysburg, where 
he closed his long and useful life." He was asked a few hours 
before his death, if the Saviour was still precious to him ; he 
answered in the affirmative. 

Early Missionary Efforts. 23 

" At ten o'clock on Sabbath evening he expired without a strug- 
gle, with a smile resting on his countenance, in his ninetieth year." 
So sinks the Christian hero, calm and beautiful, to his rest. 

Mr. Badger has left us the following tribute to the compan- 
ion of his youth, who was ''taken suddenly ill,'' in July, 1818, 
and after "a few days of painful sickness, departed this life 
on the fourth of August." 

^' She had endured with unusual fortitude the trials and 
privations of leaving her beloved friends in Connecticut, and 
removing, in 1802, into this, then almost unbroken, wilderness. 
She became a member of the Christian Church in early life, 
in the same Society with her father, mother, two brothers, 
and two sisters; from whence her relation was transferred to 
the church in Blanford, Massachusetts, then to that in Austin- 
burg, and from that to Ashtabula, where she closed the days 
of her earthly pilgrimage, to join the Church triumphant. 
She was a discreet wife, an affectionate mother, a consistent 
Christian, beloved as a friend and neighbor. She bore with 
Christian fortitude and patience the trials we had to encoun- 
ter. On her devolved, almost exclusively, the task of forming 
the minds of our children, and storing them with the principles 
of piety and virtue ; and this she performed with unwearied fi- 
delity." Hallowed be the memory of the first Missionary's 
wife, who came to plant roses in our savage wilds. 


In November, 1801, Rev. E. F. Chapin left Hartford, 
Connecticut, as a missionary to New Connecticut. He arrived 
in December, and from that time till the Spring of 1803, 

24 The Plan of Union. 

occupied himself in missionary labors, similar to those per- 
formed by Mr. Badger. 

September, 1802, Mr. Chapin wrote, after narrating his own 
labors: "In places where the ordinances are not administered; 
where the means of Public Worship and religious instruction 
are not enjoyed, religion insensibly looses ground; prayer in the 
family and closet is,generally neglected; and the consequences 
are, infidelity, stupidity and licentiousness. I have been kindly 
received in many places which I have visited, and favored with 
the best accommodations the country affords.'^ In the Spring 
of 1803 Mr. Chapin returned to New England, and we hear 
of him no more. At the Annual Meeting of the Missionary 
Society, in June, 1803, it was resolved to fill Mr. Chapin's 
place, and also send a third missionary as soon as possible. 


In May, 1803, Eev. Thomas Robbins was appointed to suc- 
ceed Eev. Mr. Chapin. He was ordained on the 20th of July 
by the North Consociation of Litchfield, and started "West, 
instructed to preach by the way. He was detained by sick- 
ness in Western Pennsylvania and did not reach the Reserve 
until the end of November. He immediately joined Mr. 
Badger in his laborious tours and efi'orts to plant the seed of 
truth in the new settlements. About this period churches 
were organized at Hartford, Warren and Yernon and a marked 
religious interest appeared in nearly all the eastern town- 
ships of the Reserve. At Austinburg, Morgan and Harpers- 
field, there were cheering revivals, as the result of which 
many were added to the church in Austinburg. 



The seed scattered by the missionaries upon this new soil soon 
germinated, and produced striking results. Very peculiar 
manifestations of religious enthusiasm and intense feeling were 
exhibited, which were in accordance with what appeared in 
other parts of the country, and which generally appear only 
where the Grospel is newly preached, and attains a sudden and 
powerful hold upon the popular mind. 

Peter's Pentecost has never been repeated ; yet the first out- 
burst of many a peoples' spiritual life, has been almost as re- 
markable. The human mind, when first filled by, and given 
up to, the great truths of Christianty, like a tree or forest 
shaken by a tornado, astonishes the beholder with its strange 
exercises and mighty agitations. 

In November, 1802, Mr. Badger wrote to the Trustees of the 
Connecticut Mission Society, as follows : 

"Upon the last Sabbath in August, the Sacramental Supper was ad- 
ministered at Youngstown. On Monday near the close of the exercises, 
there appeared an unusual movement in the minds of many. It was 
3 (25) 

26 The Plan op Union. 

found afterward, that many were hopefully the subjects of a genuine 
awakening, which has since terminated apparently in a saving 
change." ' 

Individual cases are described, and the letter then proceeds 
to delineate Mr. B's visit to Pittsburg, and some remarkable 
revivals that had occurred within the bounds of the Synod. 

Beyond the ordinary means of grace, the only instrumen- 
talities employed to produce these revivals, were the " Three- 
days meetings/' or communion seasons, which are described by 
Mr. Bobbins in a letter, dated Canfield, December 7, 1803, as 
follows : 

"The custom of Presbyterians, in this western country, of meeting 
in large numbers on sacramental occasions, is an invariable practice. 
Dr. Nesbit, of Carlisle, told me it was introduced in Scotland in the 
reign of Charles I., when a great number of their ministers were 
silenced. One or two would administer to several churches. The 
present practice is, to have a Sacrament at every Congregation, once, 
and sometimes twice, in a year ; generally twice in a minister's charge. 

" Three or four ministers attend, and the most of the people within 
twelve, fifteen or twenty miles. 

"Their ordinary custom is to preach Saturday afternoon, twice on the 
Sabbath, with the administration of the Supper between ; a prayer 
meeting on Sabbath evening, and a sermon on Monday ; after which 
the people disperse. The people belonging to the congregation where 
the meeting is, all keep open houses for any that come." 

" On Thursday preceeding the Sacrament " a fast was gene- 
rally observed. At times of peculiar interest, more numerous 
and extended meetings were often held, forming a kind of pro- 
tracted meetings, similar to what are still held in some places. 


111 the absence of churches, the woods were frequently re- 
sorted to, and the meetings conducted somewhat in the manner 
of the Methodist camp-meetings, but in a more quiet and orderly 
manner. Thus they illustrated the sentiment of the Poet, who 
says, that " the groves were Grod's first Temple.^' And, doubt- 
less, the meeting of a vast congregation in the primeval forests, 
the illumination of such a place at night by candles fastened 
to the trees, and fires built around the camp, together with other 
animating incidents, greatly hightened the exhilarating and 
exciting influences of the services. 

Mr, Robbins, in his letter to the Missionary Society, says 
of one of these sacramental seasons — 

'* It was the most solemn scene I ever witnessed. I never conceived 
any thing which appeared so much, as some parts of the solemnities, 
like the judgment day. The administration of the ordinance lasted 
three hours and a half. Mr. Porter fenced the tables, which is done 
as follows : — Every communicant previously receives a token, which 
is a small piece of lead. This they get by applying to any elders 
present, who know them. None may come to the tables without their 
tokens. In fencing the tables, the minister shows from Scripture, 
who have, and who have not, a right to that holy ordinance. It is an 
address to the consciences of those who have received tokens ; that 
they may decline, if they do not feel clear to come to the table. But 
the principal object in fencing the tables is, to let the world know, 
that if wicked men do come to that ordinance, the Scriptures do not 
authorize it, nor does the church allow it. The number of communi- 
cants was about three hundi-ed." 

This was at a church in Peunsjdvania. The ministers on 
the Reserve frequently assisted those in Pennsylvania, at such 

28 The Planof Union. 

seasons; and were in turn assisted by them. By this fraternal 
interchange^ Presbyterians and Congregationalists were drawn 
into closer sympathy. 

From a letter written to the editors of the Evangelical Mag- 
azine, of Connecticut, from Austinburg, dated Nov. 29, 1803, 
we get the following account of the commencement of the 
revival in that place. The writer with his family had gone 60 
, miles into Pennsylvania, to attend a sacramental occasion. Re- 
turning home deeply impressed, they appointed a meeting the 
same evening : 

"And notwithstanding the shortness of the notice, God so stirred 
up the hearts of the people, that more than sixty attended. The 
night Avas spent in prayer. None went from the place. A solemn 
night ! A number were deeply impressed in their minds ; some lost 
their bodily strength. The next Sabbath Mr. Badger preached with 
us. As the assembly was dismissed and began to go out, behold three 
young men, each about 16 years of age, were fallen down together 
near the door. Some of them had been remarkably careless. They 
were in such agony of mind, that every beholder was struck with as- 
tonishment. Mr. Badger immediately went to prayer. A number of 
young men who had begun to boast of infidel principles, were struck 
at that time, and one person fell. Three little girls walking from 
the place of meeting with locked arms, fell on the ground and lost 
their bodily strength. The night was spent in prayer. At times to 
the number of eight lost their bodily strength ; but little was heard 
from them except deep sighs. These marks of power are not limited 
to awakened sinners. Many Christians, where the work has prevailed, 
have also been thus affected under a sense of Divine truth." 

Another writes from Austinburg, Nov. 21, 1803 : 
*' Such scenes I never saw before. The Lord of all will do just as 
he pleases. Many are very thoughtful, some struck down. Some 

Eemarkable Revivals. 29 

appear to be as it wei^e faint, but most are seized with a kind of 
convulsions ; some to a very great degree. Some are in that situation 
longer than others ; no two alike. After recovering, they appear to 
have received no injury from being held to prevent struggling ; and 
although entirely helpless, they have a retentive memory, and have 
a full knowledge of all that is said or going on near them. Some have 
immediate relief, others are in great agonies of mind for many days." 

Mr. Badger says of his preaching during this revival — 

" I endeavored in all my sermons to hold up to the sinner's mind 
the doctrines of total depravity, repentance as a present duty, sub- 
mission to God, faith in the Redeemer as the only possible way of 
salvation, with practical application. All addresses to the passions 
were carefully avoided." 

Meetings were held in different neighborhoods, in private 
houses, in barns, or in the woods. In some cases infidels and 
others, who had mocked and sneered, were seized with the 
common convulsions. Mr. Badger continues — 

"It has been said by opposers, that New England people would 
never become subjects of this falling work; they were better in- 
formed. But we begin to have facts alarming to opposers ; education 
and strength of intellect were found to be of no avail." 

About 40 were added to the church in Austinburg, as the 
fruits of this awakening; other churches on the Reserve also re- 
ceived additions. In a letter dated July 19, 1803, Mr. Badger 
describes scenes similar to the above, which occurred at sacra- 
mental seasons, at Salem, and Cross Creek, Pa., which he and 
Mr. Wick attended. As this was before the beginning of the 
revival on the Reserve, Mr. Badger says that — 

30 ThePlanofUnio]^. 

" Taking into view the extraordinary circumstances attending the 
work, and the clamor raised against it by enemies full of subtlety 
and unrighteousness, I determined to spend a Sabbath in each Pres- 
bytery," (the Ohio and Erie Presbyteries.) 

When they arrived at Salem they found a congregation of 
four or five hundred assembled in a grove, where a stand, ta- 
bles, sheds and seats had been erected. Mr. Badger says — 

"I preached from Luke 11 : 21, 22. Several fell in time of prayer, 
and more in time of sermon ; some were greatly agitated, cried out 
suddenly as they fell, and for a fe.w moments struggled violently. 
After struggling a few moments, they lay for hours more resembling 
a dead corpse than living creatures. Others fell without noise or 
struggle, and some as suddenly as if they were dead." 

At evening Mr. Wick preached. The sermon and devo- 
tional exercises were continued till about one o'clock ; many 
remaining on the ground all night. The morning service 
commenced with a sermon by Mr. Wick, during which many 
fell. About 180 communed, one of whom had to be helped 
away from the table on account of his overwhelming impres- 
sions. . 

" A gentleman of education and of medical skill attended through 
the whole season, apparently candid, believing he could account for 
all the extraordinary exercises on philosophical jirinciples. But on 
Monday morning he acknowledged his error, and declared himself 
fully convinced that it was, in the main, the work of God. Those who 
were distressed complained much of the hardness of their hearts, and 
viewed themselves totally opposed to God, and in imminent danger of 
eternal ruin. Those who had obtained hopes spoke of the purity of 
the law, of the nature and tendency of sin, &c. Many seemed to be 

Remarkable Revivals. 31 

swallowed up ia views of the justice and glory of the Divine govern- 
ment, and the plan of salvation," 

Similar scenes occurred at Cross Creek, in Erie, afterward 
Hartford, and now Beaver, Presbytery, to which Mr. Badger 
and Mr. Wick belonged. Here there were about 800 commu- 
nicants assembled. And the congregation was so large that 
two or three ministers could speak at the same time, in differ- 
ent parts of the camp, without disturbing each other. ^'It was 
thought about 5000 people attended." Late each evening ef- 
forts were made to dismiss the meeting, but they would not 
retire, and exercises were continued all night. 

A sturdy physician declared that he could easily account for 
these phenomena, and repaired to the meeting to confirm his 
belief that '^only weak women" and men of tender nerves fell. 
But he was, during the meeting, himself alarmed from his 
security and lost his strength. At first he requested to be 
carried away, but soon after exclaimed, " Oh, carry me back, 
God is here. I cannot get away from God. I know now that 
this is God's work." 

Of course these strange operations were the subject of much 
curiosity and scepticism amongst people at a distance, as well 
as of ridicule by the irreligious at home. The Trustees of 
the Connecticut Missionary Society, requested an account of 
them from their missionaries and others in whom they could 

Mr. Bobbins, in the letter from which quotations have al- 
ready been made, says — 

"You once observed to me, you wished to have an account of this 
work from one who had been an eye witness, and who was acquainted 

32 The Plan of Union. 

with Connecticut ideas, modes of thinking and expression. I conceive 
this work in many respects to resemble the great revival in New Eng- 
land in 1740-41-42. In extent of territory, it exceeds that. With 
respect to the number of subjects in the several societies where the 
work is, I believe the present hardly equals the former. The op- 
position, ridicule and reproach which the present work receives, are 
not less, than in the work of the same spirit sixty years ago. The 
manner of the ministers' preaching is also much as it was then — 
Calvinistic in sentiment, serious, earnest and pathetic. The state of 
society, in these back counties, is, in some aspects, similar to what it 
then was in New England. In the general attention and commotion 
which are produced among all classes of people, the two cases are 
quite similar. If there were any excesses among ministers who were 
great instruments in that work, it doubtless was owing to the violent 
opposition they experienced. In the present revival I have not known 
any thing of the kind ; but they appear to conduct with great moder- 
ation and propriety. People at a distance may say what they will, 
but when they come to be eye witnesses, every reasonable man is ef- 
fectually restrained from declaring it to be any thing but the mighty 
power of God. 

"It is proper to remark that this work is in many respects mysteri- 
ous and remarkable. By far the greater part of those who are sub- 
jects of the work fall. But there are many who are evidently made 
subjects of the work of the Spirit, and have deep and powerful con- 
victions, who do not fall, and are not at all affected that way." 

He adds that persons of all classes and characters fall — old 
professors of religion, ministers, elders, as well as young con- 
verts, impenitent persons, and some who still persevere in a 
vicious life. 

" Persons fall also on all occasions — most generally at public wor- 
ship — frequently at family prayer — sometimes alone — sometimes in 
merry company, being suddenly struck by the truth. Sometimes they 

Remarkable Revivals. 33 

fall when they are in their ordinary business. I use the word fall in- 
discriminately ; but it must be remembered that the degrees of bodily 
affection are indefinitely various — from the least nervous agitation, 
every grade to the most violent you can conceive, or to a death-like 
weakness and inaction. The bodily affection is of two kinds — a 
loss of the strength, and animal powers; or nervous affection and 
convulsions. The latter is much the more common. The duration of 
the affection is very diverse ; in some cases it is but a few moments, 
in others several hours, or even days. Though they continue this 
time without sustenance, they feel no inconvenience afterward ; they 
are not sensible of any pain, or any other than mental distress. When 
they are so agitated that two or three persons have to make the 
greatest exertions to hold one, and are held by violence, they feel no 
soreness afterward. They never lose their senses. Their minds ap- 
pear to be more active than ever, and all their powers seem intent 
upon the things of religion and the interests of eternity. They are 
never in so good a situation to receive instruction. Their minds are 
fixed and their memories uncommonly retentive. The ministers uni- 
formly inculcate the idea that there is no religion in merely falling 
down. Indeed it appears to be nothing more than the effect of the 
affection of the mind. All agree, friends and foes, that it is a reality, 
and not feigned — nothing which is the effect of design in the subject. 
That is placed beyond all doubt. 

*' The great inquiry in New England is, ' Why do they fall V For 
five weeks I took great pains to enable myself to answer this inquiry." 

His conviction was that in the case of the impenitent, it 
was the overwhelming conviction of their sins and Grod's holiness 
and justice 3 and in the case of Christians, some peculiarly clear 
and impressive views of the glory of God's character, or of 
some feature in the plan of salvation. He says at last, " I 
will conclude' this subject by observing 'that I firmly believe 
this to be a conspicuous and glorious work of divine grace. ^' 

34 The Plan OF Union. 

I have given these lengthy extracts from Messrs. Badger 
and Eobbins, because they were not enthusiasts, but men in 
whose calmness and good sense confidence could be placed. 

Of course we do not believe that there was any miraculous 
influence exerted; nor that there was any merit or peculiar 
advantage in such exhibitions. But we must see in them a 
striking exhibition of the power of religious truth when ac- 
companied by the Holy Ghost, and brought fairly home upon 
the mind. 

A curious feature in these exhibitions was the fact, that 
"wicked men would be seized with them while sedulously 
guarding against an attack, and cursing every jerk when made.'' 

The different forms of the affection received from spectators 
the facetious names of the falling, the jerking, the rolling, the 
running, the dancing and the barking exercises; and lastly 
visions and trances.'' 

A somewhat humorous account of these exercises may be 
found in the Historical Collections of Ohio, page 46. 



The departure of Mr. Badger from the Reserve, and the 
policy of the Society, which drove him away, was probably a 
principal reason why the missionary work in this region rather 
declined for a few years; though it was never abandoned. 
Probably this partial desertion of the field by New England 
Missionaries also led the way for the introduction of more 
Presbyterians, as the Synod of Pittsburg occasionally sent 
missionaries out, on limited tours, even before Mr. B's depart- 
ure. And from that time, to 1812, most of the new laborers 
were Presbyterians ; sent out by the Presbyterian Society. Of 
course where their influences prevailed, Presbyterian Churches 
were organized ; as at Youngstown, Vienna, Poland, Springfield, 
Euclid, and Warren, to which Mr. Boyd preached. Generally 
the minister had the molding of the church. 

Respecting the missionaries who occupied the field from 1804 
to 1812, I have been able to collect but few facts. The general 
impression is, that they were good pious men, of sound doctrine, 
and laborious habits, but not as thoroughly educated, nor per- 


36 The Plan of Union. 

haps generally as energetic and enterprising as the New Eng- 
land missionaries. 

Yet, occupying the field during a period when the churches 
were taking form and complexion, their influence was very 
important. The Presbyterian features of our polity were de- 
rived from them, as also somewhat of that decided Calvinism, 
which has ever characterized the Presbyteries and Synod of the 


Mr. Nicholas Pettenger commenced laboring at Poland in 
June 1804 ', and upon the 24th of October following was 
ordained by Erie Presbytery, at Westfield Pennsylvania. Mr. 
Badger preached the ordination sermon. He complains that 
in Mr. Pettenger's trial sermon, " there appeared a great want 
of theological training." Mr. James Boyd was at the same 
time and place licensed to preach the Gospel. 

Mr. Pettenger continued to labor at Poland till 1810, when 
he removed to Chilicothe, where he died. 


Mr. Boyd was born in 1773, at Easton Pennsylvania; gra- 
duated at Jefferson College ; studied theology with Dr. McMil- 
lan, was licensed by Erie Presbytery in 1804, at Westfield ; and 
in 1808 was settled over the three churches of Milton, Newton, 
and Warren, " in which connection he remained until his death, 
which occurred March 8. 1813. Some portion of his time, he 
spent as a missionary under the patronage of the Connecticut 

Presbyterian Missionaries. 37 

Missionary Society. His piety and zeal were highly commended. 
^' We thought a mighty heap of Mr. Boyd," said a good hearted 
woman in Milton. What better testimonial could a shepherd 
desire from his flock ? 


Rev. Abraham Scott commenced missionary service upon the 
Reserve early in 1808. In March of the same year, he was 
joined by Rev. Jonathan Leslie. These brethren, though 
Presbyterians, were under the patronage of the Connecticut 
Society, which as we have seen in a letter to Mr. Wick, was 
unable to get men to come here from Connecticut. No wonder, 
when six dollars per week was all they offered. In May, the 
Trustees passed the following vote : 

" Whereas, Messrs A. Scott, and J. Leslie, are appointed to 
labor as Missionaries in the territory called New Connecticut ; 
and whereas, it is expedient, in the opinion of this Board, that 
they should be ordained as Evangelists : 

^^ Voted, that the Presbytery of Ohio be requested to ordain 
them, provided, upon examination, they should be found 
qualified for the work of the Ministry ! '' 

They were, after the usual forms^of trial, ordained on July 
12th. ^'Rev. Andrew Grwin^preached the ordination sermon, 
and Rev. J. McMillan D. J), delivered the charge." 

Mr. Scott wrote to the Trustees of the Society in Connec- 
ticut in 1808, as follows : 

"Although there are many things here truly distressing, yet there 
are some that are encouraging." (He speaks of *'the awful stupidity 
of many — the dangerous heresies of others, and the open and blas- 

38 The Plan OF Union. 

phemous infidelity of a few.") '' But I find that, even amongst the 
worst, there are some who, at times, are not past feeling. They appear 
■willing to hear what may be said against them. Not only the seri- 
ously inclined, but many others also profess, and, in many respects, evi- 
dence, a desire for the Gospel. I have been almost universally received 
and treated by all sorts, since I came into this covmtry, with the greatest 
civility and friendship. There has been an unexpected attention to, 
and, in many places, an apparent solemnity, under, preaching. In- 
quiries have frequently been made respecting the prospect of other 
missionaries coming into this country. I trust I need not mention the 
arrangements, that have been made in almost all the churches here, to 
have the Gospel statedly among them. Many settlements that are 
unable to support preaching statedly among them, have evinced a de- 
sire to have it occasionally, at their own expense. — In other places 
where they are able to support it, at least a considerable part of the 
time, they have attempted it apparently to very little purpose. The 
extreme difficulty of obtaining suitable preachers has been the uniform 
cause of their disappointments. 

*' They appear solicitously to look up to you (the Trustees), as under 
Christ, to sympathize, and still continue to do for them in this respect, 
thankful for what you have done ; at the same time not doubting but 
you are using your utmost efforts, for their spiritual welfare." 

Shortly afterward Mr. J. Leslie writes as follows : — 
*' I visit the schools and find them in tolerably good order. In most 
of them the Holy Scriptures are read a part of the time ; and some 
attention is paid to the Shorter Catechism, though not so much as I 
could wish. This perhaps is owing, in some measure, to the want of 
books. The attention paid to preaching in every place where I have 
been, is a very great encouragememt to me in my labors. I believe 
we are not to expect much open opposition from any on the Reserve. 
The enemies of the religion of Jesus, find, that to oppose it, destroys 
iheir influence. 

"Individuals are in some places awakened and inquiring for salva- 

Presbyterian Missionaries. 39 

tion. Some few are lying at the threshold of soverign mercy, and two 
or three have given recent evidence of having obtained a hope of salva- 
tion through Jesus Christ. This appears to be a seed time, but we 
want the rain. Unless the influences of the Holy Spirit attend the 
means of grace, sinners can not be saved. 

"Although I have lodged in one hundred and thirty different fami- 
lies, I have been uniformly received with respect as a minister of the 
Gospel; and especially as one sent by your benevolent Society." 

The Trustees in noticing these letters, remark that, " no por- 
tion of the vast missionary field in the United States, is sup- 
posed to have stronger claims to missionary attention than the 
Connecticut Western Reserve. It is calculated that upon that 
tract, there are not far from twelve thousand people." (This 
estimate was probably too low; in 1810, the population of the 
Reserve was reported to be 16,241). '' And there has been be- 
fore the present year (1808) but one settled minister of the 
Congregational or Presbyterian denomination. Its great dis- 
tance has rendered it impossible for the Trustees to employ as 
many laborers there as they have wished. But their prospects 
in that district are brightening. The Rev. Messrs A. Scott and 
J. Leslie have wrought in that field, almost the whole, and the 
Rev. Wm. Wick, a part, of the present season." 

"Near the close of last May (1808), the Rev. Enoch Burt was, at 
the request of the Trustees, ordained an Evangelist by Fairfied Eastern 
District Association, preparatory to a missionary tour through New 
Connecticut. From the labors of that mission he returned near the end 
of October, having preached forty-one sermons, baptized twenty-seven 
children and one adult ; organized one church, once administered the 
Lord's Supper, and traveled two hundred and twenty-one miles." 

" It is pleasing to add that in several instances the present year, the 

40 TiiePlanof Unio|n. 

people of that country have supplied themselves witli regular, evan- 
gelical preaching, that one minister has been ordained there to a 
stated pastoral charge ; and the General Assembly of the Presbyterian 
church, and the neighboring Presbyteries, have supplied them with 
several months of missionary service." 

The Trustees add, in tlieir narrative at the close of 1808, that 
" the Rev. James Scott, of Granville, Ohio, was appointed, in 
September, 1808, to labor in the service of the Society such 
a part of the time as he can be spared from the people of his 
stated charge." 

^' On the whole in relation to missionary efforts, in New 
Connecticut and parts adjacent, you will perceive that they 
are in a train of desirable prosperity and success." 


Respecting Mr. Scott I can learn nothing more than is given 
above. Mr. Leslie was born in Adams County, Pennsylvania, 
in 1780. He graduated at Jefferson College in 1806; studied 
Theology with Rev. J. McMillan, D. D., was licensed in June, 
1807 ; came to the Reserve, and was ordained, as we have seen, 
in 1808 ; was installed over the church in Geneva and Harpers- 
field in November, 1810; and continued in that connection ten 
years. He afterward preached in Batavia and some other 
places on the Reserve for a few years, and then removed to 
Centreville, New York, where he died, several years since. 

An old acquaintance speaks of him as a very " clever man, 
a Pennamite who preached in a peculiarly nasal tone, and 
was not quite as judicious in some respects as would have been 

Presbyterian Missionaries. 41 


Rev. John Beer was born in 1772^ in Lancaster County, 
Pennsylvania. Without a collegiate education, he studied 
Theology with Rev. T. E. Hughes of Beaver County, Pennsyl- 
vania ; was licensed October, 20th, 1808 ; received a missionary 
appointment for the Reserve early in 1809 ; was settled as pastor 
of the church in Springfield, Summit County, for several years ; 
afterward preached for some time as stated supply in ^'Newton, 
Trumbull County, and subsequently was settled south of the 
Reserve, in Middle Sandy." 


Rev. John Bruce was born in New York in 1771; without 
a collegiate course, studied Theology with Rev. T. E. Hughes ; 
was licensed and commenced preaching at Ellsworth in 1809, 
and was pastor of that church five years. '^ After his dismis- 
sion he preached as stated supply in Newton one year, and 
died in that place in November, 1816." 

A cotemporary speaks of him, as ^^a man of moderate abil- 
ities, something of a farmer, in person a heavy man, and 
severely afflicted, before his death, with paralysis in his lower 
extremities." Difficulties in the church at Ellsworth made 
his situation there unpleasant and led to his removal. 


Mr. Badger, in October, 1804, speaks of finding a Mr. 
Thomas Barr at Youngstown, "a pious man, determined, if 
possible, to get an education in referenc to the work of the 
ministry; has a pious, excellent wife and five children." 

42 T H E P L A N O F U N I O N . 

This man afterward became one of the leading ministers of 
the Reserve. Mr. Barr has left an excellent autobiography, 
which it is to be hoped may sometime be published. Lest it 
should not, extracts are given at some length, condensed and 
abridged. His early life is singularly instructive and in- 

"Mr. Barr was born in Derry, Westmoreland County, Pa., April 2, 
1775. When about two or three years old, his father, Colonel Barr, 
was called to serve in the revolutionary struggle, and took his family 
to his wife's father's, near Fort Loudon, Franklin County. Here 
Thomas was sent to school, and instructed in Dilworth, the Bible, and 
the Catechism, which composed the list of school-books used at that 
time. The body of truth at that time acquired from the Bible and 
Catechism he never lost. It was, indeed, the instrument of early and 
pungent convictions ; afterward had some connection with his conver- 
sion ; and finally, many years afterward, was of special value to him 
as a minister. The absence of the father in the war, and, afterward, 
his murder by the Indians, and the stories of British cruelty related 
m the boy's hearing, soon fired him with patriotism and abhorrence of 
tyranny, producing impressions that time could not eradicate. 

''At the close of the war. Col. Barr again returned to Westmore- 
land ; but in 1785, going on an expedition down the Ohio, with others, 
to negotiate, if possible, with some hostile Indians, he was lost. The 
only intelligence ever received of him came from the Indian who after- 
ward sold what was judged to be his scalp. We can not linger on the 
griefs of the bereaved family. It was Col. Barr's request, expressed 
before his departm-e, that, should he never retm-n, his oldest son, 
Thomas, might be ' put to college, to receive a classical education.' 
To this the attention of young Barr was frequently turned ; being 
fond of books, he was pleased with the suggestion, and property enough 
fell to his share to carry out the design. 

But such was the reputation of colleges as schools of mischief and 

R E V. T H O M A S B A R R . 48 

vice, that the considerate guardian set himself resolutely against the 
project. 'Without murmuring, yet not mthout a mental struggle,' 
Thomas submitted to the advice of his ' pious and intelligent ' guard- 
ian. The substitute fixed upon for a collegiate education was an ap- 
prenticeship of five and a half years to a Mr, Pollock, to learn the 
carpenter and joiner's trade, 'i hough Mr. Pollock was a worthy man, 
his apprentice experienced the common trials of that kind of life ; but 
went through his course with honor, won the confidence of his em- 
ployer, and, according to his own testimony, proved, by his success, 
that perseverance and fidelity may secure success in that for which 
one has no natural taste or adaptation. 

Much pious counsel and influence were bestowed upon young Barr 
by his 'boss ; ' yet, while in his employ, he formed an appetite for ar- 
dent spirits, which came nigh ruining him for time and eternity. It 
was the custom of the times to have ardent spirits amongst all work- 
men. Mr. Barr's account of his experience, from moderate drinking 
to confirmed intemperance, is deeply interesting and instructive. I 
ministered peculiar unction and fire to the pleas which he afterward 
made for total abstinence. 

" Providence provided for his final escape from this evil, by grant- 
ing him a guardian angel, in the person of Miss Susannah Welch, to 
whom he was married in the Spring of 1797. Within a year from the 
time of their marriage, the young wife, led to seriousness by reading 
Dodindge's Rise and Progress, * obtained a good hope of eternal life.' 
fier life, henceforth, seems to have been that of the model Christian 
wife and mother. In process of time Mr. Barr became pecuniarily in- 
volved, sold his interest in Westmoreland, and in the Spring of 1800 
removed to Youngstown, on the Western Reserve. The habit of in- 
temperance still grew upon its victim, though frequent efforts were 
made to reform. Of course, the pious wife ceased not in her prayers 
and efi'orts to reclaim her husband. Mr. Barr bears the following tes- 
timony to her faithfulness, at the time of their removal to the Reserve : 
' My wife had now brought me two children. Her counsels and pray- 
ers for my good were never withheld, and without entering into the 

44 The Plan OF Union. 

details of her patient, prudent, pious efforts, I would say, that, so 
far as human instrumentality was concerned in effecting my deliver- 
ance, I believe she was the main instrument — and from my own ex- 
perience and knowledge of her course, I would say to every wife so 
circumstanced, faint not, nor grow weary in well-doing.' 

*'The year 1800, it will be remembered, was the year in which Rev. 
William Wick commenced his labors at Youngstown. • This, ' says 
Mr. Barr, ' was a source of great satisfaction to my wife. She be- 
came early known and highly esteemed by the pious in the community. 
She abated none of her pious and prudent efforts for my spiritual ben- 
efit, but as yet, for nearly three years more of anxious and oft disap- 
pointed hope, she had to hope against hope.' At the expiration of 
that period, during the general religious interest prevailing in that re- 
gion, Mr. Barr became serious. Mrs Barr, with a few neighbors, 
started a prayer meeting at their house. Mr. Barr for some time tried, 
as self-righteous sinners are apt to do, to become a Christian. Gradu- 
ally he assumed the duties of family worship, and even led in the 
prayer meetings, and was fast becoming self-complacent, and likely to 
settle do^vn upon a false hope, when, under peculiar temptation, his 
old appetite for alcohol overcame him, and he was led to see his impo- 
tence, and in deep self-loathing, to break down in true penitence be- 
fore God. 'I was,' says he, 'stripped naked and bare of that good- 
ness in which I had trusted. I was self-condemned, overwhelmed 
with the vileness and greatness of my sins. Lord save or I perish, 
•was my 'only plea.' This was the 'fearful, tremendous, joyful hour' 
from which he ever afterward dated his conversion. The providence 
of God, in leading him to see the vanity of his self-righteousness, by 
lapsing into intoxication, and thence guiding him to a true faith, is 
notable. From this time all things were made new. ' Henceforth,' 
said he, thirty-two years afterward, ' I have never had any longing 
desire or appetite ' for ardent spirits. After seven years of prayer 
and anxious effort, the good wife received her reward, in seeing her 
husband reformed and pious. 'Entire abstinence' was ever afterward 
Mr. Barr's motto. And he was often deeply grieved to find himself 

Rev. Thomas Barr. 45 

discouraged and opposed in his efforts for this cause, by many ' tem- 
perate drinkers,' who had before reproached him for his intemperance, 
and tried to reform him upon the ' moderate ' plan. His firm convic- 
tion and testimony was, that there is safety only in total abstinence. 

" ' A longing desire for the salvation of souls,' now took possession 
of Mr. B.'s mind ; and in view of the pressing need of more ministers, 
there being only two or three Presbyterian or Congregational ministers 
on the whole Reserve, and about as many Methodists and Baptists, he 
began seriously to think of the ministry. Mr. Wick and Mr. Badger 
encouraged the thought ; and, of course, she, who had so long labored 
and prayed for his conversion, could desire nothing more earnestly 
than this. * There were however many opposing considerations. I was 
nearly thirty years of age, had a wife and five children, also a sister of 
my wife's living with us ; had not property sufficient to enable me to 
remove and support myself where I might receive, to the best advan- 
tage, the education necessary for the work.' But he was not a man 
to be kept back by trifles. In accordance with his energetic and de- 
cided character, he soon made arrangements to commence his prepar- 
atory studies. The little farm was sold for what it would bring ; and 
after various discouragements, we find Mr. Barr and his family at 
Greensburgh, Pa., ' where was a small Academy under the superin- 
tendence of Rev. T. E. Hughes, designed especially for the benefit of 
those having the ministry in view.' Here the faithful wife and sister 
heartily joined with the father, husband, brother and student, to 
struggle against poverty, and aid him in acquiring an education for 
the ministry. One year boarders were taken ; but this proved a los- 
ing business ; besides so overtaxing the time of Mr. Barr that, allow- 
ing himself only four hours out of 24 for sleep, he was just able to 
keep up with his class. ' The next two years' he wrote — ' I erected 
a cabin, with some accommodation, a mile and a half from the village, 
and with what I had coming from the sale of my land, was enabled to 
continue my studies until I was taken under the care of Presbytery, 
as a candidate for licensure.' Of his wife and sister he says — • they 
fainted not, neither grew weary, in using every effort in their power, 

46 The Plan OF Union. 

of labor, industry, economj^, care, counsel and prayer, to forward me 
in my course ; and without this self-denial, work of faith and labor of 
love on their part, humanly speaking, I should never have succeeded.' 
Sometimes in discouragement he would inform the Rev. Mr. AVick — 
* my j)ious and wise- pastor' — that it was of no use to go on — his 
means would not allow him to go through. But the latter would re- 
ply — ' Go on till you come to the stopping place, and then when you 
can go no further, it will be time enough to stop.' The advice was 
obeyed, albeit under sore trials. Three of the five children had to be 
kept at school. Another child was added to the little family, while at 
Greensburg. The toils and self-denials of the 'beloved helper,' were 
increased by the severe ' sickness of two children ; ' add a ' miscar- 
riage by which she was brought nigh unto death,' and a fall from a 
horse, by which Mr, Barr was rendered for some time insensible, and 
a much longer time ' unable to attend to any thing ;' and we can read- 
ily see how it was * a wonder to many,' that they were 'supported and 
carried through.' Some assistance was secui'ed during the latter part 
of the course, through the efforts of Mr. Hughes, of whose friendship 
Mr. Barr speaks in the warmest and highest terms. The charming 
family meetings where they two used to meet and ' pray together, 
with and for their dear children,' must not be forgotten. 

"Finally the ordeal was passed, and Mr. Barr was licensed to 
preach, by the Hartford Presbytery, at their meeting in Brookfield, 
Trumbull Co., Sept., 1809. 

"After visiting Westmoreland, and receiving from old friends a 
present of a horse, some months were spent in itinerating on the Re- 
sei've, traveling through the woods, through storm and cold, mud and 
'beech roots,' preaching from house to house, and in school-houses, 
after the manner of those days. Mr. Barr had made up his mind to 
go to the Sciota and Miami vallies, where he heard that there were 
a number of vacancies. But this purpose was defeated, and an ur- 
gent call given him to settle in Euclid, which he at length accepted. 
The engagement at Euclid covered only half the time; the rest was to 
be employed in missionary labors under the patronage of the Connect- 

R E V . T H M A S B A R R . 47 

icut Missionary Society. Mr. Barr speaks in high terms of the ef- 
forts of this Society, ascribing it to their fostering aid, that the Keserve 
so early became far better supplied with ministers and churches, than 
any other part^^of the State. 

"At the time of Mr. Barr's settlement in Euclid, the township con- 
tained * about thirty families.' 'Most of these were favorable to re- 
ligious society, though several of them were infidels or universalists. 
The members of the church, when I visited it were, all of them, origin- 
ally Presbyterians ; but when first organized there were two families 
originally Congregationalists among them ; so they adopted the mixed 
plan entered into between Presbyterians and Congregationalists in 
1801. These two families had now moved to other places.' This left 
the way clear for the adoption of pure Presbyterianism, which was 
afterwards done through Mr. Barr's influence. We shall see that he 
is to be regarded as the principal father and defender of Presbyterian- 
ism on the Reserve. The man who works his way into the ministry 
as Mr. Barr did, may be expected to hold his opinions firmly, and to 
be a leader, who will leave his mark where he goes. Such at least 
was Mr. Barr. 

" Through the assistance of the people at Euclid, a cabin was erected 
for Mr. Barr's family, upon a piece of land which he bought, near the 
spot where it was designed, sometime, to erect a church. They 
moved to this place in June, 1810, and Mr. Barr was ordained and 
installed in August of the same year. His family at this time con- 
sisted of nine persons, five sons, one daughter (a second daughter 
had been buried at the age of four years), and the sister of Mrs. Barr, 
who still remained with them, sharing through life the toils and trials 
of the missionary brother and sister. The salary upon which this 
family of nine persons were settled was, from the Church in Euclid, 
$180, from the Missionary Society $200. 'It will be supposed,' 
writes Mr. Barr, 'that our means of sustenance were small. Our 
oldest child, a son, was twelve years old, our youngest four. We had 
three cows, and one horse ; we sat down in the woods, not even a 
garden spot was cleared off when we entered our cabin, without any 

48 The Plan or Union. 

floor but the earth.' During the few years that intervened before the 
little boys, aided by their father, when occasionally he 'could be at 
home and help them, could clear off a few acres of land on which to 
raise their^bread ; says Mr. Barr, ' I never got a bushel of wheat under 
two dollars, corn generally seventy-five cents, and fresh pork from 
eight to ten dollars per cwt., other things in proportion. In such cir- 
cumstances I labored in the ministry at-home and abroad, in all parts 
of the Reserve, for seven years in succession; then for about two 
years and a half I missionated but little, being one year half my time 
in Newburgh, one year half the time at Cleveland, and for six months 
half my time near Painesville. In my ^missionary excursions, I usu- 
ally averaged five or six sermons a week, besides family and school 
visits ; for I endeavored, wherever there were schools, to visit them, 
address the children, and pray with them. I was sometimes oppressed 
with calls to preach funeral sermons at a distance even of thirty miles 
from home. Persons who would never think of calling for the minis- 
ter to visit, converse and pray with their sick while living, now that 
they were dead, could not endure the thought of burying them with- 
out a funeral sermon. For a number of years after I was settled, 
there was no minister on the Lake Shore, nearer than forty or fifty 
miles ; nor for two or three years, any on the south nearer than forty 
miles. Hence I was often called upon for this (funeral) service. At 
times, when the minister had just returned from a long tedious tour, 
weary and worn, and was about to make some provision for the comfort 
of his destitute family, an urgent call would come for a funeral sermon 
ten miles off; and no apology or excuse could avail ; he must go.' 

"Speaking of this laborious period of his ministry, Mr. Barr says — 
' The Lord in his providence previously disciplined me for my labori- 
ous service, and carried me with an uninjured constitution through 
the whole. I believe, too, the Lord owned and blessed my labors in 
many places, and to many individuals. The day will declare it ; my 
work is with my God. The little church in Euclid grew, and, although 
several deaths of members occurred, increased from twelve to between 
forty and fifty members in the course of about three years ; the youth 

11 Ev. Thomas Barr. 49 

and children were instructed in the catechism ; public worship was 
well attended on the Sabbath ; schools were in a good condition, and 
the state of morals and order in the society conspicuously superior to 
any other in all the region.' 

*' The prosperity of the little parish soon, however, received a seri- 
ous check, upon the breaking out of the war of 1811. Many of the 
inhabitants were soon ' on the wing.' At one time, under the influ- 
ence of a false alarm that the enemy were landing at Cleveland, the 
whole community, pastor and all, hastily packed what they could of 
their goods, and betook themselves to flight. The roads were almost 
impassable ; they, however, advanced but a few miles before learning 
the mistake relative to the enemy ; whereupon they very gladly re- 
turned home. 

"Afterward Mr. Barr proposed to remove his family to a place of 
greater safety, while he remained with the remnant of the flock in 
the wilderness. But the faithful wife and sister would not consent to 
a separation. The good providence of God kept the enemy from in- 
vading the place, and preserved the little church and its pastor. 

' ' But a fatal arrow visited the parsonage on the ninth of October, 
1812, releasing the toil-worn wife and mother from her service, and 
leaving the rest in mourning. The account of this bereavement may 
be best given in Mr. Barr's own words : — ' The second of October my 
wife was delivered of a son ; was well as usual until the third day, 
after which the puerperal fever commenced, and carried her off on the 
ninth of the month, her babe being only seven days old. This was to 
me a sore calamity. Valued justly as she had ever been by many, I 
felt and knew a value in her beyond what others did or could. In ad- 
dition to her efforts for my conversion, she well answered to God's 
original design of being indeed an " help-meet for man." She was not 
only the mother, but the pious, faithful, affectionate trainer up of my 
children in the way that they should go. From the circumstances of 
my life, first working at my trade, oft from home, next when pursuing 
studies, and lastly my ministerial labors keeping me from home half of 
the time, this important duty devolved mainly upon her. She knew and 

50 The Plan of Union. 

felt its importance, felt her own insufficiency, girded herself to the work 
in the name of the Lord, to him she looked for aid, and offered up many 
prayers with strong crying and tears for the spiritual welfare of her 
children. Of these agonies of her soul they were frequently the wit- 
nesses as well as the sutyects. For in addition to those many seasons 
in which she daily kneeled and prayed with them around the family 
altar, she often retired to some sequestered spot with one or more of 
them, there in a special manner to^commend their case to God. Those 
of them thus privileged can never forget those tender, solemn and im- 
pressive scenes.' 

"Several of these children early gave evidence of piety. Joseph, 
the second son, prepared for the ministry and received an appointment 
&s a missionary to Western Africa, but was suddenly cut off by cholera, 
at Richmond, Va., Oct. 28, 1832. Thomas, another of the sons, is 
now in the ministry. John, the third, is well known as a lawyer in 
Cleveland. Mary, the only daughter, made a profession of religion 
at twelve ; and ' aiming to walk in the steps of her good mother, has 
also been permitted to see her own eldest child, a daugher, giving 
evidence of piety at about the same age.' 

"Mrs. Barr 'died as she had lived, in the exercise of a humble, 
spiritual faith and hope. At the hour of her departure, the family 
being gathered around her, she addressed the children most solemnly 
and affectionately, enjoining upon them to meet her at the right hand 
of the Judge at the last day. Her last words to me,' says Mr. Barr, 
' were — Be faithful in the ministry, especially be mindful to warn 
parents of their duty to their children. She closed the scene with a 
most appropriate and fervent prayer, and in a few moments breathed 
her soul into the hands of her Redeemer.' " 

Thus closed that beautiful and heroic life. Let her success- 
ors cherish her fragrant memory, and in her faithful life read 
the true mission and noble destiny of woman. 

For the next four years the bereaved father toiled on alone 

Rev. Thomas Barr. 51 

with his motherless children. In 1816, he was again married, 
to Mrs. Ann Emmett Baldwin, who also proved to be one of 
the faithful and excellent of the earth. 

Bj his first wife, Mr. Barr had nine children, six of whom 
were living in 1833, at the time of writing his biography. 
By the second wife he had ten, eight of whom were living at 
the same date. We readily see that to support such a family, 
upon such a salary as ministers generally receive, must have 
required almost superhuman fortitude, economy and self-de- 
nial, on the part of both husband and wife. Mr. Barr's sec- 
ond wife had almost equal toils with the first, without the 
aid of a devoted sister. Of her, also, he testifies that having the 
responsibility of training up the children mainly devolved upon 
her, ''with all the domestic concerns of the family of every 
kind, in these trials and labors she hath acquitted herself with 
great fidelity, wisdom and piety. Daily family worship, and 
the important catechetical exercises of the Sabbath have been 
maintained whether I was at home or abroad.^' As Mr. Barr 
was most of the time either a missionary or an agent, he was 
necessarily much from home. '' Ah," exclaims he, "how little 
do most of the members of our congregations know of the la- 
bors, privations, trials and various hardships of the wives of 
ministers. Too often, instead of stepping in, as the members 
of a congregation in numerous ways might do, to cheer the 
heart and lighten the burden of a minister's wife, laboring to 
her utmost that her husband may be acceptable and useful, 
too often instead of relieving, they add to a burden too heavy 
now to be borne, by cold, unkind neglect, or by uncharitable, 
unjust and ignorant censures. Of all classes of wives, those 

52 The Plan of Union. 

of drunkards excepted, the wives of poor ministers, with large 
families and small salaries, have the hardest earthly lot. But 
great shall be the reward in heaven of every such pious wo- 
man, who, in obscurity, poverty, toil and neglect, if not scorn, 
yet in faith, hope and love, struggles hard to encourage the 
heart and strengthen the hands of the husband, that so he 
may be a ^good minister of Jesus Christ.' " To all which, 
who does not respond. Amen ? 

At the close of the war and shortly after the organization 
of the Grand River Presbytery, of which Mr. Barr was, in a 
sense, the father, he went as a delegate to the General Assem- 
bly 'j and spent a few weeks in soliciting funds for the erection 
of a church in Euclid. He raised $800. Encouraged by this, 
the people went forward and '' erected a good two story frame 
building, with a steeple,'' the same I believe that is now used 
in that place, and the first of its kind ever built on the Reserve. 

An account of Mr. Barr's agency, in the formation of the 
Presbytery, will be found elsewhere in this history. His dis- 
satisfaction and disappointment at not securing pure Presby- 
terianism, was one of the prominent reasons that induced him 
eventually to seek a field of labor south of the Reserve. His 
dismission from Euclid occurred in February, 1820. Imme- 
diately afterward he removed to Wooster, Wayne County, and 
was installed over the two churches in Wooster and Apple 
Creek. Here he labored efficiently and successfully for sev- 
eral years, though much embarrassed, by the failure of the 
people to meet their engagements as to salary. A prominent 
reason for his eventual separation from these churches was the 
influence of a certain itinerant evangelist, who was injudi- 

Rev. Thomas Barr. 53 

ciously admitted to the churches, to hold a kind of protracted 
meeting. Proceeding upon the high pressure system, which 
generally characterizes that class of irresponsible agents, the 
common evils resulted from this man's labors. Mr. Barr, like 
many others who have seen the fruits of such efforts and agents, 
records his testimony against them. 

Another reason that operated for the close of Mr. Barr's 
connection with these churches, was the failure of his health, 
and'the thought that perhaps traveling might restore it. A 
journey to Philadelphia, as Commissioner to the General As- 
sembly, in 1828, encouraged him. Shortly afterward he re- 
ceived an urgent solicitation to undertake an agency for the 
Greneral Assembly's Board of Missions. This was accepted, 
and in his new employment, he found a cure for dyspepsia, a 
pleasant field of labor, and proved an efficient and successful 

After the close of this agency, Mr. Barr preached awhile in 
Rushville, Indiana, where, on the 28th of August, 1835, he 
died in the 60th year of his age. His excellent partner still 
lives, I think, in Fairfield, Iowa. 

The brave and good man whom we have followed so far, is, 
these many years, '' asleep in Jesus." But his influence and 
memory live. His hard, earnest life, has left cheering foot- 
prints. Let it never be forgotten that it was in part by his 
self-denying toil, that our wilderness was made to blossom as 
the rose. And especially let the young man, who stands with 
irresolute step, at the threshhold of life, beset by a dangerous 
appetite, learn here how to subdue the tempter, and become 
a blessing to his age. 

54 The Plan of Union. 

Old acquaintances speak of Mr. Barr as a good and effective 
speaker, a very decided and somewhat headstrong man, and a 
rather ultra Presbyterian ; but all testify to his piety and zeal 
for God. 

The exceeding interest and value of Mr. Barr's autobiogra- 
phy, and the fear that it may never be published, must excuse 
the length of this sketch, compared with the meager notice 
given of many of his cotemporaries, who left no such record. 



At length the Connecticut Society began to find more New 
England ministers ready to venture into the far west, and 
henceforth the Congregational element gained upon the Pres- 


Rev. David Bacon, father of Leonard Bacon, D. D., of Con- 
necticut, was born at Woodstock, Ct., in the year 1770. He 
studied Theology with the Rev. Levi Hart, D. D., and served 
for several years as a missionary amongst the Indians at De- 
troit. In the fall of 1807, he commenced a settlement in 
Talmadge, Summit Co., 0. Assisted by one E. Frink, he 
erected a log house on the south line, half a mile west of the 
north and south center road. 

^^As soon as there were any inhabitants for hearers, he 
commenced preaching, organized a church in his own house, 
Jan 1, 1809 ;" and continued to labor for its growth and the 
prosperity of the town until Jan. 1, 1812. About that time 
he removed to New England, and in August, 1817, died at 

56 The Plan OF Union. 

Hartford; Ct. The church in Talmadge, and the orderly char- 
acter, marked intelligence, and prosperity of the people, have 
ever been standing monuments of the advantages of a settle- 
ment begun by a Christian minister. 

Those who pass through the village of Talmadge, may see 
a curious illustration of Mr. Bacon's geometrical planning in" 
the convergence at that point, of roads from eight points of the 


Rev. Nathan B. Borrow, was born at New London, Ct., in 
1773, studied at Hamilton College, and afterward studied 
Theology at Clinton, N. Y. ; was licensed by the Oneida As- 
sociation in 1801 ; received a missionary appointment in the 
Spring of 1809 ; was employed as stated supply at Painesville, 
in June, 1810, and installed pastor of the church at Vienna, 
in 1811, where he remained four years. He then left the Re- 
serve, buried his wife during his absence, returned after six 
years, and was reinstalled over the Vienna church ; and con- 
tinued until his death, in 1828. He was called an eccentric 
man, but his Vienna pastorate speaks well for his fidelity. 

In the Spring of 1810, the Western Reserve Mission re- 
ceived an invaluable addition in the person of Rev. Giles H. 
Cowles, B. B. Indeed this was the beginning of a new era 
in the history of this region. IMr. Cowles was the first of a 
constellation of ministers from New England, that soon en- 
tered the field ; bringing with them, if not deeper piety, at 
least an invincible energy and perseverance, and an intellectual 
and theological culture unequalled by most of their predecea- 

Increase of Missionaries. 57 

sors. This department of our subject shall be closed with 
brief sketches of the lives and services of Rev. Messrs. Cowles, 
Seward, Woodruff, Hanford, H. Coe, Treat, Pitkin, and two 
or three others who entered the field between 1810 and 1816 ; 
and who were permitted by Providence here to labor long and 
successfully, and establish the religious and educational insti- 
tutions of the Reserve on a pernianent and comprehensive 
basis. From these men, perhaps more than from any others, 
the church of the Reserve has taken its character ; and to 
them under Grod is most largely indebted for the richest of 
her history. 

Several of these fathers have, or have left, diaries and other 
material, from which it is to be hoped satisfactory biographies 
may be hereafter constructed and published. 

The present writer regrets that he could not, amid the cares 
and labors of his pastoral charge, find time to enter upon this 
pleasant task, so as to furnish adequate sketches. But he 
trusts that the work wilLbe better done by some other person, 
in due time. Let those journals be sacredly preserved. 


One of the most efficient and notable of the early mission- 
aries was Dr. Gr. H. Cowles. 

Mr. Cowles was born at Farmington, Connecticut, in August, 
1766. Upon his mother's side, he was a lineal descendant of 
Rev. Thomas Hooker, D. D. He was educated at Yale Col- 
lege; after graduation taught school one year, at North Salem, 
New York, and then studied Theology with Rev. Jonathan 
Edwards, D. D., and was licensed to preach by the New 

68 The Plan of Union. 

Haven West Association in May, 1791. He preached a short 
time in Vermont; and declined a call for settlement in that 
State. On the 17th of October 1792, he was ordained as pastor 
of the church in New Cambridge, near Bristol. 

In 1799 a powerful revival of religion occurred in his parish, 
and about one hundred persons were added to his church, as 
its fruits. Other seasons of marked religious interest also 
occurred during that pastorate. 

Mr. Cowles continued pastor of this church nearly eighteen 
years ; and in May, 1810, with mutual consent and good feel- 
ing on the part of both pastor and people, he was dismissed, 
and accepted an appointment to spend the following summer, 
as a missionary to the Western Reserve. 

Returning in the fall, he labored during the winter in Goshen, 
Litchfield County, and in May, 1811 started with his family 
to Ohio. He reached Austinburg in June; and upon the 
25th of September was installed pastor of the united societies 
of Austinburg and Morgan. 

The council called for his installation consisted of Rev. Jos. 
Badger of Ashtabula, J. Leslie of Harpersfield, T. Barr, of Eu- 
clid, J. Beers, of Springfield, N. B. Derrow, of Vienna, and Rev. 
Mr. Spencer of Fredonia, N. Y. These brethren constituted 
probably the entire ministry of the Reserve at that time. 

Although installed over these two churches, he spent much 
of histime'as an itinerant missionary; and assisted in organ- 
izing fifteen churches on the Reserve. 

He took an active part in the organization of the first 
Presbytery in this region; and was an efficient helper in 
founding the Western Reserve College, in which he felt the 

Increase oi* Missionaeies. 59 

liveliest interest, as the hope of the churches for ministers. 
He discharged faithfully the duties of a pastor to his charge at 
Anstinburg until February 3d, 1830 ; making his second pas- 
torate a trifle longer than the first. 

In 1816, a powerful revival occurred in Austinburg and 
adjoining towns, under Mr. Cowles' preaching, and about 
one hundred converts were added to the Austinburg church. 
Other awakenings, less marked followed at different times. 
His labors were remarkably successful ; and he must be long 
remembered as the father of many of the churches in Ashtabula. 

After his dismission from this charge, he still resided at 
Austinburg, and labored faithfully as a missionary amongst 
the feeble churches, until April, 1834, when failing health 
compelled him to desist. He died July 5th, 1835, aged 
sixty-nine; lamented by his brethren in the ministry and by 
the churches generally." 

^^ His death, like his life, was peaceful, serene and happy. 
The mild virtues of the Gospel adorned his life and shone 
forth yet more benignantly as he drew near the grave. '^ As 
a Christian, he was meek and humble ; as a minister he was 
faithful and untiring, ever watching as one that must give 
account; as a theologian sound and systematic; judicious and 
conciliatory as a counselor ; his labors could not fail to be use- 
ful to the Church and the world." " Mark the perfect man 
and behold the iq^right, for the end of that man is peace.'' 

February 5th, 1793, Mr. Cowles was married to Sally White, 
of Stamford, Connecticut. They had five sons and four daugh- 
ters. The third son, died, at twenty-one years of age, the 
others are all still living. 

60 The Plan of Union. 

Mrs. Cowles' death occurred in August 1830, five years 
before that of her husband. Her children are her monument. 

The above narrative is compiled partly from Mr. Clarke's 
notes, and partly from facts furnished by Dr. Cowles of Cleve- 
land, a son of Rev. G. H. Cowles. Some of the family still 
live in Austinburg* 


Rev. John Field, of Hardwick, Mass., born 1780, graduated 
at William's College in 1807, was ordained by an Association 
in Massachusetts, and came to the Western Reserve as a mis- 
sionary, in the winter of 1810-11. Desiring to enlarge his 
knowedge of the country he travelled over a larger territory 
than other missionaries of the same period ; and seems to have 
had no permanent settlement until the fall of 1823, when he 
engaged for one year at Atwater, Portage Co. After the ex- 
piration of that year he '' removed into one of the southern 
states, where he taught school for a time, and died near Natchez, 
on the 7th of August, 1827." 

The Directors of the Connecticut Missionary Society, in their 
report for the year 1812, say of him : — " Mr. Field resides in 
Burton, and from that place makes frequent excursions into 
the destitute settlements. With much self-distrust and appar- 
ent humility, he has labored in season and out of season, ac- 
cording to his ability and health." 


One of the most estimable of the venerable fathers of the 
church of the Reserve, is the Rev. John Seward ; who still 

Increase of Missionaries. 61 

lives to connect the past and the present, ministering, as in 
early days, to " the few sheep in the wilderness." 

Mr. Seward was born in Granville, Mass., in 1784. He 
graduated at Williams College in the year 1810 ; studied The- 
ology with Rev. Ebenezer Porter, D. D., then of Washington, 
Ct., and "came to Ohio in Oct., 1811 ; under the patronage of 
the Connecticut Missionary Society." At the time of his ar- 
rival, there " were but eight ministers upon the Reserve." 

He commenced his labors, as did most of the early ministers, 
as an itinerant missionary ; but within a year after his arrival, 
he received and accepted a call for settlement, as pastor of the 
church at Aurora, Portage Co. His installation occurred Au- 
gust 5, 1812. The church at Aurora had been organized three 
years before. Mr. Sev/ard was its first pastor ; and the rela- 
tionship continued with mutual affection and confidence for the 
third of a century. Large numbers were added to the church 
under his ministry ; and the advantages of a permanent pastor- 
ship were very evident, in its prosperity. 

If there were any fault in Mr. Seward as a pastor, it was in 
his extreme leniency and tenderness for his flock, particularly 
in respect to his own pecuniary dues. Having a small family and 
economical habits, he indulged his people in curtailing his sti- 
pends, until his charity well nigh superseded and eradicated theirs. 

After his settlement at Aurora, Mr. Seward still performed 
much missionary labor in adjacent towns ; and was truly a 
father to many churches ; of which he assisted in organizing 
at least fourteen. 

He was also a prominent agent in all ecclesiastical, benevo- 
lent and educational movements of general interest and utility ; 

62 The Plan OF Union. 

and did perhaps as much as any other to mold the sentiment 
and institutions of all this region. 

Wielding a facile pen, and ever observant of the course of 
things upon the Reserve, sound in judgment, conservative in 
sentiment, zealous for the cause of true religion, and earnest 
yet tender in his persuasions and expostulations, Mr. Seward 
probably exerted more influence upon the churches through 
the press, than any of his fellow laborers. He has also re- 
corded much historical matter, relative to the settlement of 
the Reserve, and the experience of early immigrants, of great 
interest and value. It is much to be regretted that Mr. 
Seward has not written a full history, which should supersede 
the present effort. Many of the fcicts contained in this work 
were furnished by him ; and from his journal, and the journals 
of other early missionaries, it is to be hoped, that valuable 
treasures may yet be gleaned, for the benefit of posterity. 

These journals will be found peculiarly rich in illustrations 
of the self-denying, persevering toils, and extreme privations 
incurred by those who planted and nurtured our churches in 
their infancy. The present and future churches and ministers 
of this region, would be greatly interested and profited by the 
perusal of full biographies, and specimen sermons of these fa- 
thers, whose voices are failing, and will soon cease to be heard 
amongst us. 

Special notice should here be taken of Mr. Seward's con- 
nection with the Western Reserve College ; of which he has 
been a Trustee, from the beginning until very recently. In 
all its history he has borne a part ; and probably it has from 
no one received more earnest sympathy and good will. 

Increase op Missionaries. 63 

In ecclesiastical sentiment and feeling, Mr. Seward has ever 
been a Congregationalist ; yet he entered heartily and sincerely 
into the plan of union ; and remained a fast friend of the 
Western Reserv? Synod, and a regular attendant upon its 
convocations, until within a year or two. 

Shortly after his settlement at Aurora, Mr. Seward married 
Miss Wright, daughter of Esquire Wright, of Talmadge. 
Though never blest with children, they two still walk hand 
in hand, similar in amiability and meekness, and admirably 
adapted to support and cheer each other. '^ Lovely in their 
lives," may they '' in death not be divided." Many are the 
spiritual children, who shall rise up to call them blessed. 


Rev Harvey Coe was born at G-ranville, Massachusetts, 
October 6th, 1785. He graduated at Williams College, Sep- 
tember, 1811; studied Theology with Rev. Dr. Fitch and Dr. 
Cooley, and was licensed to preach at Monson, Massachusetts, 
October 181-2. 

The Winter after his licensure Mr. Coe preached at South wick 
and Sheffield, and was solicited to settle as pastor at the latter 
place. But having turned his attention to Ohio, he was 
ordained at Westfield in May, 1813, as a missionary, and im- 
mediately set out for New Connecticut, ^nder the patronage of 
the Connecticut Missionary Society. He reached the Reserve 
and commenced his labors in June 1813, and spent most of 
the year as an itinerant, visiting most, if not all, of the infant 
churches, and assisted in organizing some new ones. In April 
1814, Mr. Coe was installed pastor of the church and united 

64 The Plan of Union. 

congregations of Hartford, Vernon, Kinsman and Gustavus. 
These towns united into one church, consisting of about forty 
members, at the time of Mr. Coe's installation ; but they had 
three preaching stations, at each of which he alternately 

Mr. Coe was the first minister settled in Northern Ohio, for 
the whole of his time and labors. During a visit made by 
him to New England for the purpose of bringing Mrs. Coe to 
her new home, "the Kinsman Society built a small meeting 
house, which was the first building erected in Northern Ohio 
exclusively for the worship of God, made of any better mate- 
rials than logs.'' 

Of his field and labors here Mr. Coe writes as follows : " My 
pastoral charge embraced territory enough to constitute a mis- 
sionary field, and my labors were very great and exhausting 
in my own charge. But God greatly blessed them. We lived 
in great harmony and frequently enjoyed refreshings from the 
presence of the Lord. In the Winter of 1 820 we had a very 
powerful revival, which extended through my whole charge ; 
as its fruits about one hundred and seventy-five were added to 
the church." In consequence of excessive labors, Mr. Coe's 
health failed, and he was obliged to spend the summer of 1822 
in traveling. By this time the united church numbered three 
hundred and seventy-five members, and " Hartford had become 
so strong that they were organized and set off as a separate 
church ;" Gustavus followed the example in 1823 ; but Kins- 
man and Vernon remained united until about the time of 
Mr. Coe's dismission, which occurred in November, 1830. 
This event took place by the advice of physicians and in con- 

Increase op M rss ion arte s . 65 

sequence of "the entire prostration'^ of Mr. Coe's health. 
In addition to the great amount of labor demanded in his own 
parish, the surrounding towns, destitute of ministers, frequent- 
ly called on the Kinsman minister to assist them, and in this 
way his toils were increased beyond his capabilities of endurance. 

As an example of the services performed by the early min- 
isters, Mr. Coe relates the following; '^At one time a revival 
had commenced, under my occasional labors, in Andover, 15 
miles north of my charge, and also in Vienna, 15 miles south- 
west. I visited both of these places each week for several 
weeks in succession ; spent two days at a time in each place, 
preached from two to four sermons, visited families, conversed 
with inquirers and those who had indulged a hope, and then 
went home to serve my own people on the Sabbath as well as I 
could. A goodly number in each place "were hopefully born 
into the Kingdom of Christ, as the fruit of this labor; but I 
never fully recovered from the exhausting toil/' 

It became necessary for him to discard all sedentary habits 
and travel. From 1830 to 1833 he prosecuted an agency in 
behalf of the Western Reserve College. At the latter date 
he entered upon his agency in behalf of the American Board 
of Commissioners for Foreign Missions. Several years before 
this Mr. Coe had taken a deep interest in that Society, and 
occasionally forwarded small collections to the Trustees. Dur- 
ing the first year of his agency he succeeded in raising some- 
thing over two thousand dollars. The amount gradually 
increased under his earnest pleas 'until September, 1850, at 
which time Mr. Coe made his last report, which showed that 
somethino' over seven thousand dollars had been collected 

66 The Plan of Union. 

during the year; and notwithstanding all the adverse influences 
brought to bear against this Society, the later reports made, 
show that it is still increasing in favor with G-od and man. 

Increasing infirmities compelled Mr. Coe to resign his 
agency in 1850. He now resides at Hudson, enjoying the 
consciousness of having toiled faithfully and long in the best of 
causes. As a pastor, a Trustee of Western Reserve College, 
and an agent of the American Board, he has been enabled to ac- 
complish much for the building up of the Redeemer's Kingdom. 

Mrs. Coe, a sister of Rev. Dr. Eddy, after sharing faithful- 
ly the toils and trials of a missionary's, a pastor's, and an 
agent's wife; and rearing a large family of daughters, two of 
whom are now the wives of minister's; still lives in illustra- 
tion of Psalm xcii : 13, 14. Although they had no sons, 
the once poor students at Western Reserve College, are many, 
who have occasion long and affectionately to remember '^ Father 
and Mother Coe. " 


About the tenth of July, 1813, Rev. Simeon Woodruff 
reached the Western Reserve as a missionary of the Connecti- 
cut Society. The following sketch of Mr. Woodruff's life and 
labors, is mostly taken from an obituary, published in the Ohio 
Observer, of October 16, 1839 : 

"Rev. Simeon Woodruff was born in Litchfield, South 
Farms, Conn., July 26, 1782. His circumstances in child- 
hood and youth are unknown to the writer of this notice. 

" His studies preparatory to entering College, were pursued 
at the academy in his native town." He graduated at Yale 

Increase of Missionaries. 67 

College in 1809 ; and left the Andover Theological Seminary 
in 1812, as a Licentiate, " While at Andover he was an as- 
sociate with Samuel J. Mills, Gordon Hall, James Hichards, 
and others who were pioneers among the young men of this 
land in the Foreign Missionary enterprise, and his mind be- 
came deeply imbued with a similar spirit. During this period 
he became a member of that society of young men, formed at 
Williams College, in which a pledge was given that members 
would devote themselves to the missionary cause among the 
heathen, if Providence should indicate that to be the path of 
duty. For some time, Mr. Woodruif expected to spend his 
days on heathen ground ; but soon after commencing preach- 
ing, in 1812, he relinquished that object and turned his at- 
tention to the new and destitute settlements of the west. For 
a young man of promising talents to devote himself to a mis- 
sion as far west as the State of Ohio, was then regarded by 
many in New England, as an enterprise involving as great sac- 
rifice, as it is now for a young man of similar talents to go to 
the Sandwich Islands, the empire of China, or the Zulus of 
Africa. In compliance with the request of the Trustees of 
the Missionary Society of Connecticut, Mr. Woodruff was or- 
dained as an evangelist at Washington, Connecticut, on the 
21st of April, 1813.^' He had been ^'appointed to the field 
of New Connecticut," and on the 10th of May, set out on 
horseback for his destination. He arrived at Mr. Badger's 
cabin, in Austinburg, on the 9th of July ; preached his first 
sermon, in Ohio, on the following Sabbath, at Mentor, and on 
Wednesday following, reached the house of Rev. Mr. Seward, 
at Aurora, Portage Co. From his journal is taken the follow- 

68 TiiePlat^ OF Union. 

incf memorandum of his first interview with Messrs. Seward 


and Coe : 

"Bro. Seward was not at home when I first came. In a 
short time he returned with his newly married wifis, an amia- 
ble and pleasnnt young lady, daughter of Esquire Wright, of 
Talmadge. Mr. Coe, a missionary lately arrived, was with 
them. We had indeed a pleasant interview. It was truly 
grateful to find a brother and fellow-laborer in this great wil- 
derness. Bro. Seward has been quite afi'ected several times. 
He remarked with tears in his eyes — ' I rejoice to see you 
here, but knowing your youth and the difficulties of your work, 
I rejoice with trembling.' " 

^' On the 25th of the same month, Mr. Woodrufi^ ^preached 
in Esquire Wright's barn, in Talmadge/ and soon after re- 
ceived a unanimous call from the church in Talmadge, to settle 
over them as pastor. ' Never before,' says he, ^ did I witness 
such earnest desire for the enjoyment of the Gospel ministry/ 
The terms of the call give us some insight into the state of 
ministerial relations at that time. The proposition was for a 
settlement for ' one half of the time at present, and after five 
years, the whole of the time, unless otherwise decided by a 
majority of two thirds. Salary two hundred dollars (for half 
the time,) to be paid in provision.' To which the good man 
appends — ^ Is it my duty to accept, or is it not ? Will the 
Lord direct?' " 

At a subsequent time the society voted " to raise the salary, 
after ten years, to five hundred dollars?" And again the 
doubting candidate inquired — "What shalll do ? Will the 
Jjord direct ? " 

Increase of Missionar es. 69 

^' We trust the Lord did at length direct the inquirer ; at 
any rate, after several months' missionary labor, performed in 
different parts of the Reserve, the call was, though reluctantly, 
accepted. And on the 13th of May, 1814, Mr. Woodruff was 
installed as pastor of the Congregational church and society in 
Talmadge. Rev. Messrs. Badger, Cowles, Leslie, Derrow, 
Seward and Hanford, took parts in the exercises of installa- 
tion. ^ At the same time and place, the Bible Society of the 
Connecticut Western Reserve, was organized, of which Mr. 
Woodruff became one of the first Board of Trustees, and was an 
ardent supporter, and efficient helper. The exercises of the 
day were attended in a barn, standing on the place since pur- 
chased, and now owned, by the Church and Society as a par- 
sonage.' From one half to one fourth of the time, for several 
years, were spent in itinerant missionary labor amongst the 
feeble churches. ' Laboring in this manner and with the peo- 
ple of his charge in Talmadge, he spent nine years and four 
months.' During this time, the Church grew rapidly and 
prospered in all its interests. In great part through Mr. 
Woodruff's instrumentality, an academy was built, the upper 
room of which was used for several years as a place of worship. 
Near the close of Mr. Woodruff's labors in Talmadge, a large 
and, for that period, elegant house of worship was erected; 
which, though remodeled in its internal arrangements, still 
stands as a monument of the piety and enterprise of that 

'' ' In September, 1823, Mr. Woodruff was dismissed from 
his pastoral relation, and labored most of the time as a mis- 
sionary until Jan. 12th, 1825, when he was installed pastor 

70 The Plan OF Union. 

over the church and society in Strongsville, Cuyahoga Co/ 
Here again he was instrumental in building up a large and 
flourishing church. Here also he secured the erection of an 
academy, and a large church edifice. ' His pastoral connec- 
tion with this people also continued nine years and four 
months ) and was dissolved April 17, 1834. In each of these 
places, where he was stationed, almost exactly the same length 
of time, he was faithful and successful as a pastor, enjoying 
several seasons of special attention to religion, and having a 
large accession to each of the churches.' The two academies, 
as well as the churches, established by his efibrts, still stand, 
and subserve the purposes for which they were designed. ' Be- 
sides being, as'is believed, the instrument of many conversions 
to God, Mr. Woodruff laid the foundation of an order of things 
in each of those places which will long remain to bless the peo- 
ple who may dwell there. In January, 1837, Mr. Woodruff 
was installed pastor of the church in Worthington, Franklin Co 
And in the fall of 1838, this relation was dissolved, and he 
removed with his large fiimily to Bainbridge, Berrien County, 
Michigan, where he labored in the service of the Missionary 
Society of Connecticut, till his death, which occurred on the 
28th of August, 1839.' 

" Mr. Woodruff was married Sept. 29, 1817, to Miss Mary 
Granger, of Talmadge, who became the faithful partner of his 
life, sharer of his toils, and the surviving guardian of his chil- 
dren. Mr. and Mrs. Woodruff had thirteen children, of whom 
nine grew to maturity. With so large a family, a small salary, 
and with all the privations and inconveniences of life in new 
settlements, to which, in this case, three removals and changes 

Increase of Mission ariesJ. 71 

of place are to be added, we can conceive that there were op- 
portunities "enough for self-denial and the trial both of the 
missionary's faith, and of his constitution. Hence we are not 
surprised to find him failing at the age of fifty-six. But what 
must be the burden which, in a case like this, settles down 
upon the surviving partner ? Amongst strangers, in the wild 
regions of the far west, with nine children, of which the 
two youngest were twins under four years'aof age ; with no 
other means of support than a piece of land, upon which but 
little cultivation had been as yet effected ; in a region where 
schools and churches existed only in embryo, if at all ; in such 
a place and circumstances, to have the husband and father sud- 
denly cut down, is certainly a most trying event. 

Such was the lot of Mrs. Woodrufi" and family. Into the 
details of the long, hard years that followed, we cannot enter. 
Industry, economy, resolute energy and perseverance, and above 
all, an in flexible faith in God, these, and nothing else, can 
carry a family successfully tkrough such years. And it is due 
to Mrs. Woodruff and her children to state that she succeeded 
in rearing them respectably, educating them comfortably, and 
securing for them thorough religious instruction ; and had the 
satisfaction of seeing them all taking a reputable position in 
society. The oldest son, Simeon, recently deceased, shared 
manfully the labor and expense of supporting the family, and 
had his reward in the gratitude and affection of appreciative 
brothers and sisters, and the prayers and blessings of a godly 
and now sainted mother. Three sons and four daughters still 

72 The Plan of Union. 

The remains of Mr. Woodruff rest in the solitary field at 
Bainbridge, Michigan, where his labors closed. 

Mrs. Woodruff remained in that State until the summer of 
1848, when she removed to Ashland, Ohio, where her weary, 
though cheerful, pilgrimage ended, August 22, 1853. '^ And 
so he giveth his beloved sleep." 

Those who have read '' Sunny Side," need only to have 
known Mrs. Woodruff, to have been assured that the character 
of Mrs. Edwards, as there delineated, is a most truthful por- 
trait of at least one minister's wife, out of New England ; and 
higher eulogy than this can not easily be pronounced upon the 
wife of a missionary. " Blessed are the dead who die in the 
Lord, for they rest from their labors and their works do follow 


Another faithful and efiicient pioneer was added to the Be- 
serve Mission in 1813, in the person of Bev. William Hanford. 

Mr. Hanford was born at Norwalk, Connecticut, in 1787. 
He graduated at Yale College in 1808 ; and studied Theology 
at Andover Massachusetts, leaving the Seminary in September 
1813. In October of the same year, at the request of the 
Missionary Society of Connecticut, he was ordained as an Evan- 
gelist, at North Stamford Connecticut, and a few days after- 
ward set out upon a journey to the Connecticut Beserve, to 
which mission he had been previously appointed. He reached 
the Beserve December 3d, and spent the ''first Sabbath at 
Poland ; preached during the following week at Boardman and 

Increase of Missionaries. 73 

Canfield, and spent the second Sabbath at the latter place. 
Thence, took a missionary tour through Portage and Trumbull 
Counties; returned and preached at Canfield, Boardman and 
Poland,, as regular stations until the following June." In 
June, 1814, he "took a missionary tour through the southern 
and western parts of the Sfate, visiting Steubenville, Marietta, 
Chilicothe, Cincinnati, Hamilton, Dayton, Columbus, Gran- 
ville, Newark, Zanesville, Coshocton, Canton, and other towns 
on the route, preaching in all these places, and becoming ac- 
quainted with almost every minister in the State/' Return- 
ing to Canfield and Boardman, Mr. Han ford preached regularly 
in these places a part of the time, being paid by the people of 
these churches, performing missionary service in destitute fields 
the rest of the time, until the close of 1814. "Some hope- 
ful conversions occurred at Canfield, and a number were received 
into the church," during his ministry in that place. In Jan- 
uary 1815, he received an invitation to preach at Hudson, and 
in the course of the spring received calls for settlement from 
the church in Hudson, from the church in Burton, and also 
from that in Painesville. Tiiecall from Hudson was finally ac- 
cepted, and Mr. Hanford was installed over the Congregational 
Church and Society in that place, on the 17th of August, 1815. 
The installation sermon was preached by Rev. G. H. Cowles, 
from 1 Tbessalonians 2:4. 

It was, however, understood that Mr. Hanford should still 
preach as an itinerant missionary one half of the time, so long 
as he should regard it to be his duty ; and this he did " until 
the meeting-house in Hudson was completed." After that he 
spent nearly the whole time at Hudson. As_a missionary, Mr. 

74 The PlanofUnion. 

Hanford "assisted in forming twenty churclies, amongst which 
may be mentioned the first Presbyterian church in Cleveland, 
the Congregational churches in Strongsville, Biecksville, Kich- 
field, Medina, Brunswick, Atwater, Ellsworth, Johnston, kc." 
The relation between Mr. Hanford and the Hudson church, 
was most happy and useful : and continued until the seventh 
of September, 1831, when, at Mr. Hanford's earnest solicitation, 
he was dismissed, in order to accept a call from the church at 
Windham, Portage County. The infirm health of Mr. Han- 
ford, rendering him, in his own opinion, incapable of discharg- 
ing the duties devolving upon him at Hudson, was the ground 
of his removal. During the sixteen years of his ministry the 
church in Hudson had been increased by the addition of one 
hundred and twenty members ; the bond of affection between 
pastor and people had become very strong; and a separation 
was of course painful, as is indicated by the fact that " not a 
single individual in the Congregation voted " in favor of the 

Mr. Hanford was installed pastor of the church at Windham 
on the 12th of October 1831, and retained that connection 
nine years. Here also the church increased under his minis- 
trations " from seventy-five to one hundred and seventy mem- 
bers, besides deaths and dismissions." Increasing infirmity 
again necessitated his removal ^' from a second beloved people.'' 
His complaint was a severe pressure of blood upon the brain, 
which prevented that mental exercise necessary for sermonising, 
and compelled him for a awhile entirely to abandon the minis- 
try. A year's relaxation and exclusion from all public services 
BO far removed the complaint, that upon receiving an invitation 

Increase of Missionaries. 75 

to supply the pulpit in Talmadge, Mr. Hanford consented to 
do so, on the condition that they should as soon as possible call 
some other minister to become their Pastor. He supplied them, 
in all, about a year and a half; and afterward rendered a 
similar service for the church in Middlebury, while destitute 
of a pastor ; for a short time he also preached at Northfield ; 
but in each instance entire physical prostration was the conse- 
quence. Mr. Hanford still preaches occasionally, though with 
difficulty. He continued to discharge the duties of Stated Clerk 
for the Presbytery of Portage, and also for the Western Re- 
serve Synod until their last meetings; having filled these 
offices ever since the organization of those bodies, the former 
in 1818, and the latter in 1825. He has also acted as " Secre- 
tary of the Home Missionary Board on the Reserve, from its 
organization, in 1826, to its close, in 1852, with the exception 
of a short interval between 1832 and 1834. 

Mr. Hanford's leading characteristics are fervent piety and 
inflexible integrity; a sound judgment and straight-forward 
business talent. His preaching is clear and practical, and 
his prayers peculiarly impressive. A pleasant illustration of 
this is contained in an anecdote narrated to the writer by a 
lady who attended a protracted meeting in Springfield, shortly 
after Mr. Hanford came to the Reserve, in which he took a 
part. "During the reading of the first hymn a small and 
youthful looking person ascended the stand and took his sea 
with the ministers. 'What is that boy going up there for?' 
whispered one lady to another. The hymn being sung he 
arose and led the prayer, in his peculiarly earnest, distinct and 
impressive manner. When about half through, the same lady 

76 The Plan op Union. 

again twitched the shawl of the other, saying, in a low tone, 
' bless me, how the boy prays/ '' 

Mr. Hanford and his pleasant companion still live in Tal- 
madge, managing their own domestic affairs, and enjoying a 
peaceful and happy old age. Mrs. Hanford was Amelia Wright, 
daughter of Elizur Wright Esq. of Talmadge, and sister to 
Rev. Mrs. Seward. Neither Mr. Seward nor Mr. Hanford 
have ever had any children. But many venerate and love them 
as their spiritual parents. Long may they yet live to enjoy 
the esteem, affection and reverence of those who share the 
fruits of their fciithful labors. 


Rev. Luther Humphrey was born at Canton, Connecticut, in 

" He had passed the age of twenty-four when he commenced 
fitting for College," and graduated at Middlebury in 1813. 
He studied Theology a short time with Rev. Andrew Gates, was 
licensed to preach in 1814. and on the 16th of March, 1815, 
was ordained as an Evangelist, at Canton, his native town, 
with reference to a mission in the west. The following August 
he reached the Reserve with a commission from the Connecti- 
cut Missionary Society. He soon commenced preaching in 
Burton and Claridon, Geauga County; and in October 1815 
was installed over the Church and Congregation embraced in 
these two townships, still spending a part of his time, however, 
as a missionary in different parts of the County. 

Mr. Humphrey was dismissed from his charge at Burton, 
the 27th of November 1828. He then preached two years at 

Increase of Missionaries. 77 

Conneaut, Ashtabula County, and after that removed to Ed- 
wardsburgh, Michigan, where he remaiud several years, preach- 
ing as occasion offered in various places to the people of that 
destitute region. Here at length death deprived him of the 
partner of his life. Having no children, his situation after the 
death of Mrs. Humphrey was necessarily one of great loneli- 
ness. It is, therefore, gratifying to know that within a few 
years he returned to Ohio, married the widow of Rev. Joseph 
Treat, and now, with that excellent lady, lives at Windham, 
Portage County, and still occasionally, according to his ability, at 
the age of seventy, labors in his Master's vineyard. 


The following sketch of Rev. J. Treat, was published in the 
Observer, shortly after his death, probably by the Rev. J. 

The Rev. Joseph Treat, who died at Windham, Portage Co, 
0., on the 9th of May 1841, aged 57 years and 5 months, was 
born at New Milford, Conn., Dec. 10th, 1783. His constitu- 
tion was naturally feeble, and several times during his childhood 
he was brought near to the grave by sickness. In his youth 
he was not addicted to vice or immorality, but even then ab- 
horred flagrant transgression. At about the age of 20 he first 
became deeply and permanently convicted of sin ; experi- 
enced a change of views and affections, and indulged a hope 
of an interest in the atoning merits of the Lord Jesus Christ. 

This change of mind led him to a change of occupation. 
Having been designed for a farmer, he now turned his atten- 
tion to the Christian Ministry, as that calling in which he 

78 The Planof Union. 

could do the most good, and at the same time gratify the de- 
sires of his heart, now thirsting for knowledge and longing for 
the salvation of mankind. Difficulties seemed to hedge up his 
way, but after praying much for divine direction he deliberate- 
ly came to the conclusion to commence a course of preparation 
for the gospel ministry, and went to Cornwall, where he be- 
gan the study of Latin, on the 11th December, 1804, being 
then just 21 years of age. He had not then made a public 
profession of religion, as it was not the fault of those days to 
hurry young converts into the church without time for previ- 
ous trial. He joined the church in 1805. He entered the 
freshman class in Yale College, Sept. 9th, 1806, atid graduated 
Sept. 12th, 1810. On the 21st Sept., the same month in which 
he graduated, he commenced the study of theology with the 
Kev. Ebenezer Porter, of Washington, Ct., who was afterwards 
connected with the Theological Institution at Andover, first 
as Professor and then as President. Mr. Treat was licensed 
to preach at Washington, Conn., Oct. 15th, 1811, in the 28th 
year of his age, and was ordained as an Evangelist at Wood- 
bury, May 25th, 1814. After spending some time as a mis- 
sionary in the northern part of Pennsylvania, he left his na- 
tive state in June 1816 as a Missionary to Ohio. On the 7th 
of the next January he, for the first time, visited Windham. 
On the 16th of June, 1817, the church and society of that place 
presented him a call to become their pastor and spiritual teach- 
er: and he was installed by the Grand Kiver Presbytery on 
the 24th of Sept. following. He continued pastor of that 
church about 10 years: and Oct. 4th, 1827, was regularly dis- 
missed by the Presbytery of Portage, receiving this testimony 

Increase of Missionaries. 79 

at the time of his dismission ; that he had iiiithfullj preached 
to them the Gospel. During his Pastoral connection with the 
church at Windham he labored about half the time as a Mis- 
sionary, among the destitute and dispersed churches on the 

He^was actively and usefully employed until within a few 
days of his death ; and is to be remembered as one of the most 
efficient of the early ministers of this region. 

His excellent lady has, within a few years, married the Rev. 
L. Humphrey, and still resides at Windham. Two sons and 
two daughters of Mr. Treat, one the wife of a minister upon 
the Reserve, still survive. 


Rev. Mr. Pitkin was born in 1781, at New Hartford, Ct. 
He graduated from Yale College in 1806; studied theology 
with Rev. Asahel Hooker, of Goshen, and was settled as a pastor 
several years at Millford, Ct. 

He came to the Reserve in 1816, and was settled 'as pastor 
of the church at Charlestown, April 22, 1818. Here he la- 
bored efficiently until Jan. 7th, 1826; when he resigned his 
charge to enter upon an agency in behalf of the W. R. College; 
with which he has always been connected. 

After entering upon this agency Mr. Pitkin removed to 
Hudson, where he has ever since continued to reside. The 
agency was prosecuted many years; and both in this capacity 
and as a trustee, and principal adviser and manager in all the 
pecuniary and general interests of the College, Mr. P has ever 
been one of the principal functionaries. Until within a few 

80 The Plan OF Union. 

years, although much occupied with the affais of the College, 
and the management of a farm, he continued to preach gen- 
erally upon the Sabbath to some of the weaker churches, in 
the vicinity of Hudson. 

Although a New England man, Mr. Pitkin has always been 
one of the strongest advocates and adherents of the W. R. 
Synod, and the peculiar ecclesiasticism built up under the 
plan of union. Active, resolute, persevering, politic, and con- 
servative, though for many years not a pastor, his influenee upon 
the general interests of the church and religious and educational 
institutions of the Reserve has been decided and extensive. 

Within a few years past, Mr. Pitkin's eyes have failed, so 
as to prevent his engaging in pulpit services. 

He and his aged partner however both enjoy a ^^ green old 
age,'' and he is still at the meetings of his Presbytery and 
Synod, one of the few survivors of the generation of ministers 
now fast passing away, Mr. P. has one son in the ministry, 
Rev. C. J. Pitkin; another son, a lawyer, lives at Hudson, 
upon the old homestead, to cheer the declining years of the 
parents. Mrs. Yrooman, deceased, late missionary to China, 
was an adopted daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Pitkin. 

Here we may take leave of those venerable and godly 
men, who planted Christian Churches through this wilderness, 
and by whose agency the Gospel kept pace with the settlement 
and cultivation of the country. 

They were laborious, self-denying, patient, persevering mis- 
sionaries, seeking and finding their reward in the work they 
were called to do for their Lord. The future will appreciate 
and honor their memory. 

Increase of Missionaries. 81 

Amid all kinds of discouragement they continued planting 
and watering the little churches in the wilderness; until the 
time arrived for collecting them into ecclesiastical bodies. No 
Presbytery nor association was formed until the year 1814 ; 
when the number of churches already organized was about 

The ecclesiasticism of the Reserve has been the subject of so 
much discussion, that I shall present it as a distinct part of 
this work. This first part shall be concluded with some sta- 
tistical tables, giving the strength of the churches at different 
dates. Perhaps the most valuable items in this book are the 
tables and notes furnished by Rev. A. R. Clark, now of Wel- 
lington; presenting a complete view of all the churches and 
ministers, up to Nov. 1835. In the notes I have omitted 
Mr. Clark's notice of those ministers, of whom sketches are 
given in the preceeding pages, since in several instances there 
would be only a repetion of the same statements. 


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April 15,] 
.May 1, 
one year' 
.Mayl, 1 
June 1, 1 
April 15,] 

July 15, ] 
Oct. 1, ] 




Andover The. Sem. 
Andover The. Sem. 
Andover The. Sem. 
Andover The. Sem. 
Rev. J. Hopkins, 
Rev.Tho.E. Hughes 
Princeton Th. Sem. 
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Rev.A.sahel Hooker 
Auburn Theo. Sem. 
Levi Hart, D. D. 
Andover The. Sem. 
Jas. Richards, D. D. 
Andover The. Sem. 
E. Porter, D. D. 
Rev. Luther Hart, 
We.'itern The. Sem. 
E. Porter, D. D. 
Andover The. Sem. 


G. H. Cowle.^ D. D. 
Auburn Theo. Sem. 
(J. H. Cowles, D. 1). 
Auburn Theo. Sem. 
Andover The. Sem. 
Andover The. Sem. 
Andover The. Sem. 
\ndover The. Sem. 
Timo.Dwight, D.I). 
.\udover The. Sem. 
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£ 1 




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§ III 






prev. to 1 
Jan. ] 

Jan. 1, ] 

July 15. 1 
Sept. 10, ] 

Nov. 24, ] 
Spring, ] 

Winter, ] 

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Nov.l, 1831 
May, 1819 
Feb. 27, 1827 
Oct.], 1832 
Mayl, 1834 
Oct. 21, 1808 








6 monthi- 
June, 181 r 
April, 1834 
Jan. 1, 1825 

Jan. 15, 1-833 
Oct. 1833 
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rl j t-1 1^ C^ C<l 

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94 The Plan or Union 



Andover. — First Church. At its formation until 1832, this church 
embraced two townships, Andover and Cherry Valley. A dispute 
finally arose about the location of a house for puplic worship. One 
party maintained that it ought to be in the center of the township, and 
the other that it should be on the "State Road," in the west part 
of the township. And finally the church was divided, and a new 
one formed. 

The men who have preached more or less to this people, are Messrs. 
Breck, Woodruff, Beardsley, and Loring. Mr. Breck left Andover 
Theological Seminary in 1823. Soon after completing his education, 
he immigrated to this country — labored as "stated supply" for some 
time in Harrisvilleand Wadsworth, Medina county — was settled pastor 
over this church somewhat more than a year, — and after his dismission, 
he preached as " stated supply " in Brecksville, Cuyahoga comity, from 
whence he removed to Cleveland in 1831 or 1832, and commenced 
teaching a high school, where he still continues. Mr. Woodruff, the 
next minister, preached to this church a part of his time one year. 

Mr. Beardsley, after closing his theological studies at Auburn The- 
ological Seminary, spent some time in New York State, in teaching 
school. He came to this country in 1831, and established himself in 
Jefferson, the seat of justice in this county. Here he also engaged in 
teaching the academy, and at the same time in preaching to the church, 
and to that of this place, until 1833, when he removed to Freedom, 
Portage county, where belabored in the ministry till July, 1833, and 
then removed to Atwater, having received a call from the people of 
that place. He still cotinues at Atwater. Mr. Loring left Ando- 
ver Theological Seminary in the class of 1833. After his airival in 
this country, he labored a few months among the inhabitants on the Ohio 
Canal, v»'hcre there were no churches formed, and but a few professors 
of religion resided. Subsequently, he preached six months in Bain- 

Notes — A shtabula County. 95 

bridge, Geauga county, and then six months in Wayne and Andover, 
He has since returned to New England. 

Second Church. This church has enjoyed the hibors of Dr. Cowles. 
Both it and i\iQ first church are now destitute. 

Ashtabula. This town is established on a river by the same name, 
and contains a flourishing village, situated two or three miles from 
Lake Erie. The church has never had a settled pastor, but has been 
supplied at different times by Messrs. Pratt, Badger, H. Cowles, G. H. 
Cowles, Scott, and Roat. The Presbyterians and Baptists have at 
times united in supporting the gospel, having one year a Baptist cler- 
gyman, and the next a Presbyterian. Mr. Scott never had a collegi- 
ate education. He left Bangor Theological Seminary in 1831, and 
soon after came to the Reserve. He labored for a time in this place, 
Monroe, Pierpont, and Conneaut — then one year in Euclid, Cuyahoga 
county, and in Februrary, 1835, was installed pastor of the church 
in Chester, Geauga Co., and in Oct. following was dismissed. Mr. Root 
was a student at Auburn Theological Seminary. He preached one year 
in Ashtabula ; and has since been ordained as an evangelist, b}^ the 
Monroe Presbytery, and is now preaching in Dexter, Michigan. The 
church in this place is now vacant. 

AusTiNBURG. This town was early settled by an enterprising class 
of inhabitants, who were also friends to morality and religion. A 
church was gathei'ed in 1801, by the Rev. .Joseph Badger, the year after 
he,arrived in this country, and it has been much favored with repeated 
revivals of religion, under the ministry of the two Cowleses. It is 
now vacant. There has recently been establishedin this town, a man- 
ual labor school, which is to be taught by Mr. Ralph M. Walker, late 
tutor in the Western Reserve College. Dr. Cowles was installed Sep- 
tember 25th, 1811. He discharged faithfully the duties of a minister 
of Jesus Christ to this people until February 8d, 1830, when by mu- 
tual consent, his pastoral relation was dissolved. Mr. Heni*y Cowles 
studied divinity at New Haveu Theological Seminary, and with Rev. 
Ralph Emerson, D. D., of Norfolk, Connecticut, and now professor in 
the Theological Seminary at Audover. Mr. Cowles preached over a 

96 The Plan of Union. 

year in Ashtabula — subsequently in Sandusky, Huron county — and 
from Sept., 1830, until Oct., I80O, he continued as " stated supply " and 
pastor of the church in Austinburg. Having been invited to the profes- 
sorship of languages in the Oberlin Collegiate Institute, he was dismis- 
sed from his pastoral charge in October last, and immediately entei-ed 
upon his new duties at Obei-lin. 

CoLEDROoicand Orwell. This church, formed in 1831, has enjoyed 
successively the labors of four ministers, Messrs. Austin, Cowles, 
Pepoon, and Danforth. Mr. Austin came into this country at an 
early day. He had previously commenced study with a view of ob- 
taining a liberal education ; but by reason of ill health, was obliged to 
relinquish his object. He pursued theological studies for several years 
under the tuition of Dr. Cowles of Austinburg, and was, in 1827, li- 
censed to preach the gospel. Since he entered the ministry, he has for 
the most of the time engaged in the labors of an itinerant missionary. 
He continues to reside at Austinburg. Mr. Pepoon studied theology 
for a time with Rev. Dr. Cowles of Austinburg; in 1825 was licensed 
to preach, after which he spent about one year at Auburn Theological 
Seminary. Since leaving Auburn, Mr. Pepoon has preached for dif- 
ferent periods of time, to eleven churches, Mr. Danforth left Auburn 
Theological Seminary in 1829. Spent two or three years in Indiana, 
and the western part of Ohio — afterwards preached one year to the 
churches of Bainbridge and Mantua — then one year in Brookfield and 
Hubbard — and since in Rome one year; and now preaches to this 
church and resides in Orwell, 

CoNNEAUT. This town, formerly named Salem, is situated in the 
north-eastern corner of the State, and on a river of the same name. 
It has enjoyed but little regular preaching. Dr. Cowles labored here 
a part of his time for two years, and Mv. Humphrey for more than 
two. It is now destitute. 

Geneva and Haupersfield. This church, at its formation, spread 
over the territory now occupied by the two churches in Madison, and 
the church in Unionville. It is now vacant, Mr. Leslie, its first set- 
tled pastor, studied theology with Rev, John M'Millan, D. D., then 

Notes — Ash tabula County. 97 

professor and Vice President of Jefferson College. He was licensed in 
June, 1807, and commissioned in March following, by the Connecticut 
Missionary Society, to come to the Reserve, and under their patronage 
he has labored more or less since. He was ordained as an evangelist 
in July, 1808; and installed over the church in Geneva and Harpers- 
field, November, 1810, and continued in this connection ten years. He 
has also labored as stated supply in one or two other places ; and he now 
preaches in Batavia, Geauga county, and lives in Harpersfield. Mr. 
Pratt was first educated for a physician, and in this profession he prac- 
ticed some time in Andover, in this county. He studied theology under 
the tuition of Dr. Cowles, of Austinburg, and Rev. Harvey Coe, of 
Vernon, Trumbull county — was licensed in February, 1821, and or- 
dained in 1822. He commenced preaching as stated supply to this 
church in May, 1821, and was installed June 23, 1824; in which con- 
nection he remained over eleven years. He has also labored in sev- 
eral other churches, and is now preaching in Claridon, Geauga county. 

Jefferson. This church is now vacant. — Mr. Chapin left Andover 
Theological Seminary in 1831 ; soon after came to the Reserve, and 
supplied the second church in Madison and the church in Montville ; 
then the church in this place, where, at the same time, he taught the 
academy ; and more recently, supplied the west church in Farming- 
ton, Trumbull county, where he is also teaching an academy. 

KiNGSViLLE. This church was supplied by Mr. Badger, and after- 
ward by Mr. Palmer, whose theological studies were under the direc- 
tion of the Cayuga Presbytery of New York. He was licensed by 
that body in July, 1820 ; and in February following, was installed over 
the second church in Genoa, New York. After his dismission, he came 
to Kingsville, in 1824, where he continued until 1829. While here, 
he suffered from bleeding at the lungs, which disabled him for a sea- 
son to preach. During his ministry at Chester,) Geauga county, he 
spent one summer as commander of a schooner on Lake Erie, and his 
influence on the sailors was salutary. He has more recently preached, 
as his health would permit, to the church in Ridgefield and Monroe, 
Huron county. Mr. Kelly is the son of Rev. Mr. Kelly, of Hamp- 

98 The Plan OF Union. 

stead, New Hampshire. He left Andover Theological Seminary with 
the class of 1822; was licensed by the Londonderry Presbytery, and 
ordained over the Congregational churches in Parsonsfield and New- 
field, Maine, and dismissed June 27, 1827 : was installed over the 
church in Kingsville, in 1829 ; dismissed July 9, 1834 ; and installed 
on the same day over the first church in Madison, Geauga county, 
where he still continues. While at Kingsville, Mr. Kelly supplied for 
a time the church in Sheffield. Mr. Latham studied theology with 
Rev. Mr. Packard, of Shelburne, Massachusetts, and came to the 
Reserve in 1834, and still preaches in Kingsville. 

Lenox. This church has enjoyed for a season the labors of Dr. 
CowlesandMr. Austin. Mr. Austin continues as "stated supply." 

MiLLSFORD. This church is now destitute. 

Monroe. This church has enjoyed successively the labors of Messrs. 
Woodruff, Cowles, Scott, Pratt, and Woodruff. Mr. J. A. Woodruff, 
the present minister, is son of Rev. E. T. Woodruff. He studied a 
short time at Auburn Theological Seminary, and was licensed to preach 
the gospel. While supplying the church in Warren, Trumbull county, 
he received a call from the second church in Madison, and the church 
in Unionville, to become their pastor; was installed June, 1834 ; and 
dismissed July, 1835. 

Morgan. This church was formerly connected with the Austinburg 
church, until 1819, when it received a distinct and separate organ- 
ization. Its first pastor was Mr. Stone, who continued with them nine 
years. He also supplied several other churches, during his ministry 
at Morgan. After his dismission, he became editor of the Ohio Obser- 
ver, in which capacity he remained two or three years ; and after- 
ward removed to New England, where he spent several years, preach- 
ing in Massachusetts and Connecticut. Recently, he has returned to 
the Reserve. Mr. Tracy was the next minister in Morgan. And his 
successor was Mr. Child, who fitted for college at Phillips Academy, 
Andover, Mass., but in consequence of ill health, never entered college. 
After closing his theological studies at Auburn Theological Seminary, 

Notes — Asii tabula Cou nty . 99 

he came to the Reserve, and commenced supplying the churches of 
Morgan and Rome, October, 1829; over which he was installed pastor 
in the year following. He was dismissed from his charge by reason 
of ill health, in 1833, For the greater part of the time since his dis- 
mission, he has been laid almost entirely aside by sickness. He is 
now preaching in Warsaw, N. Y. Mr. Pratt, who preached the last 
year in Monroe, is his successor. 

New Lime, Rome, Sheffield, and Windsor. These churches are 
now destitute. 

PiERPONT. Rev. E. T. WoodruflF, is now supplying this church. 

WiLLiAMsriELD and Wayne. This church formerly embraced the 
whole of these two townships. But a few years since, division arose 
in relation to the location of a place for public worship. A small stream 
of water, which runs through about the centre of the then congrega- 
tion, was one source of contention. There were also other causes, 
all of which finally resulted in the formation of a new church in the 
township of Wayne. Mr. Coe studied theology with Rev. John Seward, 
of Aurora, Portage county, and Rev. Harvey Coe, of Vernon, Trumbull 
county. He supplied at diflferent times, the church of Mantua, Por- 
tage county — of Dover, Cuyahoga county — of Williamsfield, Ashta- 
bula county — of Lyme, and of Greenfield, Huron county — and of 
Vernon, Trumbull county. Since 1822, Mr. Coe has spent a good 
portion of his time as a missionary among the Indians of Maumee ; 
and among some of the tribes living on the borders of the Lakes of 
St. Clair and Huron. Mr. E. T. Woodrufi" studied theology under 
the tuition of Rev. Charles Backus, D. D., of Somers, Conn. In 1800 
he was ordained and installed pastor of the church in North Coventry, 
Conn. ; and dismissed November, 1817, by reason of ill health. He 
soon after emigrated to this country, and found the change of climate 
favorable to his constitution. His health was so much restored, that 
in August, 1819, he was installed over the church of Williamsfield 
and Wayne, and dismissed in 1835, From the time he came to the 
Reserve, Mr, Woodruff spent a portion of his time at diff'erent periods, 
fts *' stated supply" in Milton and Newton, Austintown, Brookfield, 

100 The Plan or Union. 

and Southington, Trumbull county ; Parkman, Geauga county ; Mon- 
roe, Andover first church, and Pierpont, Ashtabula county. He still 
lives in Williamsfield, and preaches in Pierpont. Mr. Bascom, on 
closing his studies at Princeton Theological Seminary, commenced 
laboring in Lower Sandusky, west of the Reserve, where he preached 
one year. Afterward laboring in this place six months, and is now 
preaching in Chester, ^Meigs^county. The church in Williamsfield is 
now destitute. 

Wayne. This church has enjoyed successively the labors of Messrs. 
Cowles, Russ, and Loring. It is^^now destitute. 


Brecksville. This church has had stated supplies successively 
from Messrs. Shaler, Breck, Pepoon, and Chapin. Mr. Shaler 
preached here a part of his time, one year while he was pastor of the 
church in Richfield, Medina county. Mr, Chapin studied theology with 
Rev. Drs. Nott and Yates, of Union College, and was settled pastor 
for several j'ears in Granby, Mass. Soon after his dismission from that 
place, he came to^the Reserve, in 1830 — labored in the townships of 
Newbury and Russell, where he gathered two churches — went from 
thence to Willoughby (then called Chagrin), Cuyahoga county, and 
there also gathered a church, which he supplied a year or two, and 
subsequently he commenced preaching to the church in this place, 
where he still continues. 

Brooklyn. This church has enjoyed successively the labors of Messrs. 
McLean Bradstreet, and Drake, — Messrs. McLean and Bradstreet 
preached here one year, each a part of the time, while they were sup- 
plying the church in Cleveland. Mr. McLean was subsequently set- 
tled at Beavertown, Pa. Mr. Drake served an apprenticeship to the 
printing busines. He had serious thoughts of going in the capacity 
of a printer on a foreign mission ; but ill health prevented. He had 
for years a strong desire to study for the ministry, but could not divest 
his mind of the impression that he was unfit for the holy and responsi- 
ble work, until it was too late ,to pursue a^egular collegiate course. 

Notes — Cuyahoga County. 101 

He studied theology with Rev. S. W. Brace, of Skaneateles, and Rev . 
Levi Parsons, of Manlius, N. Y. — was licensed June 21, 1831, and 
ord.ained as an evangelist, August 7, 1833, and soon .after, came to the 
Reserve and commenced preaching in this place. He had previously 
preached for a season in New York &tate. 

Cleveland. Six years ago there were but three or four male Pres- 
byterian professors in town. Now the church contains nearly 200 mem- 
bers, many of whom are among the first in the place, both in intelli- 
gence and wealth. Mr. Bradstreet, the successor of Messrs. McLean 
and Stone, left Andover Theological Seminary with the class of 1822 
— labored in Cleveland from August, 1823, to January, 1830, and sub- 
sequently in Vermillion, Huron county. While at Vermillion, his 
health failed, so that he was unable to preach, except occasionally. 
About this time he accepted an invitation to become editor of the Ohio 
Observer, in which business he continued somewhat over one year, from 
the summer of 1833. After leaving the paper, he commenced preach- 
ing in Perrysburg, on the Maumee river, in Wood county, where he 
still continues with improved health. Mr. Hutchings left Princeton 
Theological Seminary with the class of 1833, and after preaching in 
Cleveland between one and two years, he embarked, under the patron- 
age of the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions, 
on a mission to Ceylon. Mr. Aiken, the successor of Mr. Keep, and 
the present minister at Cleveland, left Andover Theological Seminary 
in 1817 — was settled for a number of years in Utica, N. T., from 
which place he was called to take the charge of the church in this 
place. While at Utica, he was permitted to witness a powerful re- 
vival of religion among his people 

Village Church. This church in 1834 was set off from the church in 
Cleveland. Cuyahoga river separates them. Mr. Keep studied theol- 
ogy with Rev. Asahel Hooker, of Goshen, Conn. — |was settled for a 
number of years in Blandford, Mass., during which time he per- 
formed an agency of several months for the American Education Soci- 
ety — was afterwards settled in Homer, N. Y., and on being dismissed 
from that place, he came, by invitation, to Cleveland, and there 
9 * 

102 The Plan op Union. 

commenced laboring in December, 1833. Last May he left Cleveland 
and commenced as " stated supply " to preach to the church in this 
village. Mr. Keep, during his ministry thus far, has witnessed 
several revivals of religion. 

Dover. After Mr. Coe, Mr. Hyde labored here some time as stated 
supply, and then was called to the first church in Madison, Geauga 
county. Mr. McCrea studied theology with Rev. Harvey Coe, of Ver- 
non, Trumbull county. He continued pastor of the church in Dover 
about seven years and a half — then spent three years as *' stated 
supply" in Westfield and Harrisville, Medina county — was installed 
over the church in Penfield, Lorain county, September, 1834, and dis- 
missed, October, 1835. He now resides at Westfiield, and preaches 
south of the Reserve. Mr. Keys studied theology with Rev. James 
Richards, D. D., of Morristown, N. J., and now professor in Auburn 
Theological Seminary — and with Rev. John Rogers, D. D., of New 
York City — was licensed August 3, 1805 — ordained in Perth Amboy, 
N. J., August 21, 1807 — was installed over the church in Talmadge, 
Portage county, September, 1824, and remained pastor nearly 8 years 
— preached in Dover over 3 years, and has recently left the place. 
The Dover church was organized in Lee, Mass., June 5, 1811, with a 
view to be established in this place. The members removed in the 
following autumn, and at present are without a minister. 

Euclid. This church had two settled pastors, Messrs. Barr and 
Peet, and four "stated supplies," Messrs. Stone, Bradstreet, Scott, and 
Adams. Mr. Barr was father of the late lamented Joseph Barr, who 
died of the cholera, on the eve of embarking for Africa, to preach the 
gospel to the benighted inhabitants of that continent. At the time 
of Mr. Barr's ordination (1810), there were on the Reserve, besides 
himself, six Presbyterian ministers ; Joseph Badger, William Wick, 
Nathan B. Derrow, Jonathan Leslie, Joshua Beer, and John Bruce, 
three of whom are now living. Mr. Wick was the first installed 
minister on the Reserve, though Mr. Badger commenced his mission- 
ary labors^ a few months previous. Mr. Peet studied theology at 
Princeton and Auburn Theological Seminaries — was pastor of the 

Note s — C uyahoga County. 103 

church in Euclid more than 7 years and in April, 1833, was dis- 
missed to accept an Agency for the American Seaman's Friend Society, 
for the western waters. In this capacity he has acted since, and re- 
sides at Buffalo, N. Y. [He has lately become editor of the Buffalo 
Spectator.] Mr. Adams left Andover Theological Seminary with the 
class of 1827. He spent some time in the Southern States, and also 
in New England, and arrived on the Reserve in 1834, and commenced 
preaching in Euclid, September, 1834, where he still continues. 

NEWBURGand Rockpoet. These churches never had regular "sta- 
ted supplies," but occasional preaching from different ministers, at 
different times. 

Solon. Two or three years since, a cokmy of Christians from Bos- 
cawen and Canterbury, N. H., emigrated to this place, where Mr. 
Nutting had been preaching for some time. After graduating at Dart- 
mouth College, he labored as an instructor in Randolph Academy, 
Vermont, 5 years — then three years in Catskill Academy, New York, 
where, at the same time, he studied theology with Rev. David Porter, 
D. D. After closing his services in that place, he returned to Randolph, 
and taught the Academy 6 years longer, except a part of one year, 
which he spent in teaching in Hampden-Sydney College, Virginia. In 
1829 Mr. Nutting was elected professor of languages in Western Re- 
serve College. 

Stronqsvilli. Mr. Woodruff was settled pastor of the church in 
Strongs ville about 9 years and dismissed in April, 1834. Mr. Blood 
left Andover Theological Seminary in 1831 — preached about 3 years 
in Kentucky, and in the southern part of Ohio: from whence, in Feb- 
ruary, 1834, he removed by invitation, to Cleveland, to labor in be- 
half of the boatmen on Lake Erie, and continued here until Novem- 
ber following, when he commenced preaching in Strongsville, 

WiLLOUGHBY. In this place is established the Willoughby Univer- 
sity, the medical department of which has already gone into opera- 
tion, but not with very flattex'ing prospects of success. The church is 
at present vacant. 

104 The Plan of Union. 


Bainbridge. The present minister of this church is Mr. Slater, 
who also preaches a part of his time in Newbury. 

Batavia. Mr. Barrett studied theology with Rev. William Froth- 
ingham, of Lynn, Mass. — was licensed by the Andover Association, 
June 4, 1816 — came to the Reserve in 1824 — has steadily supplied, 
for different periods, at different times, the churches of Batavia, Park- 
man, and Troy — was installed over the church in Mesopotamia, 
Trumbull county, in 1827, and remained pastor of that people 4 years. 
He now preaches to the churches in Bristol and Southington, Trum- 
bull county. Mr. Bridgeman closed his theological studies at Auburn 
in 1830, and soon after removed to Michigan, where he remained until 
July 1833, when he came to the Reserve and commenced preaching 
in Batavia and Huntsburgh. His labors are now confined to the latter 
place. Mr. Leslie is the present minister of Batavia. 

Burton. Mr. Humphrey commenced preaching in Burton and Can- 
ton (now called Claridon), and in October 1815, was installed over 
the church and congregation embraced in these two townships. Mr. 
Witter, the present pastor of Burton church, studied theology at Au- 
burn Theological Seminary. He has spent a portion of his time, since 
his settlement, in some of the neighboring churches. The church in 
Burton, at its formation, numbered 8 members ; it has now 125. There 
is an academy in this town. 

Chardon. This place is the seat of justice for Geauga county. — 
Mr. Olds was formerly a deacon in one of the eastern churches. After 
removing to this country he became an active member of the Church in 
Madison — was a judicious and successful laborer in protracted meetings 
. — was licensed more than a year since by the Presbytery of Grand 
River, and in June, 1835, was ordained as an evangelist by the same 

Chester. This church has had four "stated supplies," Messrs. Bad- 
ger, Burbank, Palmer, and Goodell, and one settled pastor, Mr. Scott. 

Notes — Geauga Co u nty. 105 

— Mr. Burbank left Andover Theological Seminary "with the class of 
1824. After preaching here and in Kirtland two years, he accepted a call 
from the first church in Madison, to become their pastor, and was in- 
stalled January, 1830. In this connection he remained over four years, 
and on the same day of his dismission, his successor was installed. 
He now supplies the churches of Mesopotamia and Bloomfield, Trum- 
bullcounty. Mr. Goodell left Auburn Theological Seminary in 1830, 
and Avas one of the seven missionaries, who emigrated that fall to the 
State of Missouri, where he preached nearly two years. Since his 
arrival on the Reserve, he has supplied the church in this place one 
year — the church in Franklin, Portage county, one year — and the 
chxirches of Westfield and Harrisville, Medina county, one year. He 
now preaches in Chatham, Medina county. The church in Chester is 
at present vacant. 

Claribon. Mr. Humphrey's successor was Mr. Tracy, who studied 
theology with Rev. Bennet Tyler, D. D., while he was President of Dart- 
mouth College, Soon after the close of his studies, Mr. Tracy came 
to the Reserve, and was settled pastor of this church about 6 years. 
Having received an appointment from the American Board of Com- 
missioners for Foreign Missions, to an agency in their behalf, in In- 
diana, he was dismissed October, 1834. During his ministry at Clari- 
don, there were several extensive revivals of religion, some of the sub- 
jects of which are now preparing to preach the gospel. Mr. Pratt 
is the present minister in that place. There is an academy here 
taughtby a Mr. Canfield, graduate of Yale College. 

CoNCOBD. Mr. Swift studied theology with Rev. Chester WiAght, 
of Montpelier, Vt. After being licensed, he preached awhile in Bethel, 
Vt., and subsequently ^in the vicinity of Columbus, Ohio. He labored 
as stated supply in Charlestown and Brimfield one year, and has since 
been preaching in this place and in Richmond. 

Hampden. Mr. Cobb^s^son of Rev. Dr. Cobb, of Rochester, Mass. 
He left Andover Theological Seminary in 1825 — preached a short 
time in the southern part of Massachusetts — afterwards two or three 
yeara in the Island of Nantucket — arrived on the Reserve either at 

106 The Plan of Union. 

the close of 1829, or early in 1830 ; preached for a time in Huntsburg 
and Mesopotamia, and in October, 1830, was installed over the united 
churches of Hampden and Kirtland. From the latter he was dismissed 
in April, 1833, and from the former in September, 1834. Subsequently 
he taught the Academy in Parkman, and at the same time preached to 
the church in that place, and to the churches in Bristol and Southing- 
ton. He is now laboring- south of the Reserve. Mr. Stuart left An- 
dover Theological Seminary in 1828 ; was settled for a number of 
years in Essex, Vt. ; came to the Reserve in January, 1835, and after 
supplying this church and that of Montville for six months, he re- 
turned to New England. 

HuNTSBUBG. This church has had stated preaching at diflFgrent 
times, from Messrs. Strong, Witter, Cobb, Wilson, Lyman, and Bridge- 
man. Mr. Strong came into the country over 16 years ago, and after 
preaching several years, he left the ministry entirely, and devoted his 
time to agricultural pursuits. He now resides in Madison. Mr. Wil- 
son, on closing his studies at Auburn Theological Seminary, came to 
the Reserve, and preached one year to the churches of Hvmtsburg and 
Thompson, over the last of which he was installed February, 1832, 
and dismissed April, 1833. He has since been preaching in Sherman, 
N. Y. Mr. Lyman studied divinity with Rev. Dr. Porter, of Catskill, 
N. Y.; was settled once or twice in New York, and subsequently came 
to the Reserve, and after supplying the church in Painesville about 
one year and a half, in 1826 and 1827, he returned to New York, 
where he labored as stated supply, or settled pastor, until 1832, when 
he i^turned to the Reserve, and has since been preaching, at different 
times, in Huntsburg, Montville and Thompson. At the last mentioned 
place, he still continues. Mr. Bridgeman is the present minister in 

Kirtland. This church has enjoyed successively the labors of 
Messrs. Badger, Bui-bank, Cobb and Coe. Mr. Coe never graduated, 
but received the degree of A. M. from Yale College. While pursuing 
his Theological studies, he attended a course of lectures, delivered by 
Rev. Dr. Taylor, of New Haven, Conn,; was licensed in November, 

Notes — Geauga County. 107 

1831, by the New Haven Association, and in July following, he com- 
menced preaching in Kirtland, where he still continues. 

Le Roy. Mr. Austin is the present minister of this town. 

Madison. First Church. This church formerly spread over the ter- 
ritory, occupied now by the second church, and the Unionville church. 
But in consequence of a flourishing village in Unionville, on the line 
of the town, and south of the centre, and of the village at Centreville ; 
and also in consequence of the three ridge roads, one mile between 
each other, and running east and west, and thus territorially dividing 
the congregation, a division of feeling sprung up, which finally re- 
sulted in the formation of two new churches. The first church has 
had three pastors : Messrs. Hyde, Burbank, and Kelly, and four 
"stated supplies," Messrs. Winchester, Pratt, Austin, and Stone. 
Mr. Hyde was the son of the late Rev. Dr. Hyde, of Lee, Mass., 
with whom he studied theology. Mr. Hyde supplied for a time the 
churches of Dover and Sheffield; and in August, 1819, was installed 
over the first church in Madison. His father preached the installa- 
tion sermon. He continued in this place for three or four years, when, 
sufi'ering considerably from pulmonary aflfection, he returned to New 
England, and died at his father's house, in Lee, August 12, 1824. Mr. 
Winchester studied theology with Rev. Holland Weeks, of Abington, 
Mass., and came to the Reserve in 1825, having preached, for some 
time previous, in the vicinity of Rochester, N. Y. He labored a por- 
tion of his time, after his arrival in Ohio, in the two churches in Mad- 
ison. From 1831 until his death, he devoted his whole attention to 
the restoration of the Jews. He believed in their literal return to 
Jerusalem, before their conversion, with all their Mosaic rites and 
ceremonies. Mr. Winchester "was a friend to the descendants of 
Abraham, and had studied the prophecies respecting their future des- 
tination, perhaps more than any other man now living. He devoted 
many of his last years almost wholly to the study of the prophecies 
respecting their restoration. Nor was he contented with theory and 
speculations alone. He labored for three or four years indefatigably, 
to turn the attention of the Christian public to the subject, and to 

108 The Plan of Union. 

persuade the Jews that Jesus Christ is the Messiah. To accomplish 
which he denied himself the domestic comforts he might have enjoyed, 
in the bosom of an affectionate and beloved family, traveled thousands 
of miles in the United States ; crossed the Atlantic, and spent one 
summer in England. He expected soon to embark for the shores of 
the Mediterranean, with a hope he might do something to prepare the 
way for the return of Israel to the land of their fathers. He con- 
structed a map of the land of Palestine, and a grand view of the tem- 
ple, as described by the prophet Ezekiel." He died in Madison, where 
his family now reside, August 17, 1835. Mr. Kelly is the present 
pastor of this church. 

Second Church and Unionville Church. Since Mr. Woodruff's dis- 
mission, Mr. Saunders, who had previously taught the Academy in 
Painesville, has commenced preaching as " stated supply " to these 
churches. He studied theology at New Haven Theological Seminary. 

MoNTTiLLE and MuNSON. These churches are now destitute. 

Newbuky. Mr. Slater is the present minister of this place. 

Painesville. This church is situated in the bosom of a flourishing 
village, on the banks of Grand River. Mr. Derrow was one of the first 
ministers who came to the Reserve. After leaving Painesville, he 
was settled in Vienna, Trumbull county. Mr. Loomis was settled in 
Painesville five years. After his dismission, he returned to New York, 
and there died. Mr. Sheldon was successor, and subsequently settled 
in Franklin, Portage county. Mr. Adams studied theology with Rev. 
Drs. Nott and Yates, of Union College ; was settled for a number of 
years in Ludlowville, N. Y.; preached in Milan and Sandusky, Hxu'on 
county ; settled in Painesville three years and a half, from which 
place he returned to New York, and has since been preaching in 
Hammondsport, on Crooked Lake, Mr. Fitch left Andover in 1830; 
was settled in Belfast, Maine, one year or more, and afterward 
preached in one or two places in that State some time, and then came 
to Painesville, where he still continues. 

Parkman and Russell. These churches are now destitute. 

RiCHMO»D. This flourishing village is in the township of Pnines- 

Notes — Huron County. 109 

ville, and situated near the mouth of Grand River. Mr. Swift is the 
present minister. 

Thompson Mr. Lyman preaches here at present. 

Troy. Mr. Pool, the present minister, never had a collegiate edu- 
cation, but received the degree of A. M. from Williams College. He 
studied theology with Rev. Dr. Packard, of Shelburne, Mass. 


There are twelve townships in which there is no Presbyterian or 
Congregational church, though in Margaretta, in May, 1819, there 
was a church formed, which, however, has for several years been 
extinct. A Mr. Smith, recently from New York, is preaching in that 
town and in the vicinity. 

Berlin. This church has been supplied successively by Messrs. 
Betts, Judson, Barber, and Crawford. Mr. Betts labored here a part 
of his time one year and a half, and Mr. Judson, two years and a half. 
Mr. Barber, on closing his theological education, entered upon an 
agency for the American Sunday School Union for Ohio, for a season ; 
afterwards preached two or three years in Marion county, from whence 
he was called to instruct in the Huron Institute at Milan in this county. 
While principal of the Institute, he preached on the Sabbath to some of 
t^e neighboring churches, as his health would permit, which finally 
became so much impaired as to compel him, in the summer of 1835, to 
relinguish the business of teaching. He now supplies the church in 
Vermillion. Mr. Crawford studied divinity with Rev. S. Porter, of 
Geneva, New York ; and, after being licensed, preached for a time in 
that State. Over a year since he came to Berlin, and is now the 
*' stated supply " of the church in that place. 

Bronson. This was connected with the church in Peru, until 
some time in the present year, when a new one was formed. It is 
now destitute. 

Clarksfield. Mr. Robbins preached in a number of places on the 
Reserve, and some years since returned to New York State, where he 
is now laboring. Mr. Betts arrived on the Reserve in January, 1829, 

110 The Plan of Union. 

and was installed over the' church in Wakeman, in April folio-wing. 
In this connection he still continues, and spends a part of his time in 
Clarksfield, as "stated supply." 

FiTCHViLLB. Mr. Beach preached to several churches at different 
times for eight years. Was settled pastor of the church in Peru for 
more than two years, from July, 1827, to August, 1829. On leaving 
his charge in Norwalk, in 1832, he removed to Michigan, and is now 
settled over the church in Ann Arbor. Mr. Dunton, besides preach- 
ing in Fitchville, has supplied the churches of Florence, Norwalk, 
Peru, and Ruggles. He has recently closed his labors at Fitchville, 
which is now destitute. 

Florence. Mr. Alfred H. Betts is, at present, supplying the 
church in this place. 

Gbeenfield. This church has been successively supplied by Messrs. 
Coe, Congar, Edwards, Buss, and Salmon. Mr. Edwards studied the- 
ology with Bev. Asahel Hooker, of Goshen, Conn.; was settled over 
the church in West Stockbridge, Mass., Oct. 4, 1809, and dismissed 
June 23, 1812. Commenced preaching in Greenfield in November, 
1826 ; preached also at different periods in New Haven, and in Har- 
risville. Since 1831, he has preached but occasionally and now re- 
sides in Bipley. Mr. Salmon pursued the study of medicine, and 
after practicing a time, he turned his attention to theology ; studied 
with Bev. Dr. Woodbridge, now of New York city, and completed his 
education at Princeton Theological Seminary. Since his arrival on 
the Beserve, he has spent a considerable portion of his time in Green- 
field, Peru, and Monroe. He now supplies the chiirch in Peru. 
Greenfield is destitute. 

Huron. This church is located in the midst of a population which 
had long been without the restraints of the Gospel, and distinguished 
for its great wickedness. Till within a few years, the village, at the 
mouth of Huron river, was noted for immorality. Sabbath breaking, 
profaneness, intemperance, &c. Mr. Beecher was educated at the 
Southern and Western Theological Seminary, in Tennessee. After 

Notes — Huron County. Ill 

preaching a year or two in that State, lie labored as an agent for the 
Presbyterian Education Society, in that vicinity, for about two years 
longer, and came to the Reserve last fall, and is established at Huron, 
where he still is. 

Lyme. This church has enjoyed successively the labors of two pas- 
tors, Messrs. Sullivan, and Congar. Mr. Sullivan studied theology 
under the tuition of Ilev. Otis Thompson, of Rehoboth, Mass. Not 
long after being licensed, Mr. Sullivan came to the Reserve ; preached 
for a season in Norwalk, Ridgefield, Huron, before any churches were 
there formed ; was settled in Lyme about four years, and afterwards 
supplied the church in Wellington, Loraine county, the church in Me- 
dina, Medina county, and the church in Canfield, Trumbull county. 
He is now preaching in Durhamville, Oneida county. New York. Mr. 
Congar studied divinity with Rev. J. T. Benedict, of Chatham, New 
York ; came to the Reserve in 1822 ; has supplied, at different times, 
a number of churches in this county, was installed over the church in 
Lyme, where he still continues. 

Milan. There has never been a pastor settled in this place. Mr. 
Shipman left Andover Theological Seminary in 1821, and after sup- 
plying this church nine months, returned to New England, and is now 
settled pastor in Southbury, Conn. Mr. Demund, soon after leaving 
Princeton Theological Seminary, came to this place, and supplied this 
church six months, and then returned to the east, and is now settled 
over a Dutch Reformed church in Pomplar, N. J. Mr. Judson, the 
present minister, after closing his education at New Haven Theologi- 
cal Seminary, served as agent for the American Sunday School Union, 
in the State of Ohio. On leaving his agency, he came to this county, 
and commenced preaching statedly, in Milan. He preached occasion- 
ally in many destitute places in different parts of the county, in some 
of which there were no churches formed. For a year past, he has 
spent a portion of his time, in connection with Mr. Congar, in conduct- 
ing protracted meetings in counties west of the Reserve. Many of 
these meetings have been attended with the manifest power of the 
Holy Ghost, ' ' convincing of sin, of righteousness, and of a judg- 

112 The Plan op Union. 

ment." There is in Milan, a flourishing, preparatory school, in high 
repute, named "Huron Institute." At present, it is taught by Messrs. 
S. C. Hickok, and B. Jiidson. 

New Haven. The church in this place is now destitute. 

NoRWALK. This place is the seat of justice for Huron county. The 
chm'ch has been supplied successively by Messrs. Beach, Dunton, Bar- 
ber, Clark, Saunders, and Newton. Mr. Clark left Auburn Theologi- 
cal Seminary in 1833 ; preached here one year, and is now supplying 
the church in Brownhelm, Loraine county. Mr. Saunders, after grad- 
uating, was tutor, for some time in the college of New Jersey. Sub- 
sequently to completing his theological education at Princeton, he was 
settled over the church in South Salem, N. Y., for eleven years ; came 
to Ohio in 1834, and after supplying the church in Norwalk a while, 
died of pulmonary affection, in Milan, June 3, 1835. Mr. Newton 
was tutor in Yale College for two or three years ; studied theology at 
New Haven, Conn., and came to Norwalk in July, 1835. 

Peru. Mr. Salmon is the present minister of this place. 

RiDGEFiELD and Monroe. Mr. Palmer preaches to this church 
still, when his health will permit. 

Ripley. This church has no "stated supply." 

RuGGLES. Mr. Buffett, son of Rev. Mr. Buffett, of Greenwich, Ct., 
left Andover Theological Seminary in 1823 ; was settled in Atwater, 
Portage county, about six years ; supplied the church in Ruggles one 
year, and now resides in Franklin, Portage county. This church is 
now vacant. 

Sandusky. This church is established in a place which promises 
to become quite populous and wealthy. The church is now destitute. 
Mr. Robbins, on leaving Andover Theological Seminary, entered upon 
his duties, as tutor in Transylvania University, in Kentucky, to which 
he had been previously elected. In this station he remained over one 
year. After leaving the University, he came to the Reserve, and com- 
menced preaching in Sandusky. While here he was ordained as an 
evangelist by the Huron Presbytery. He is now settled over a church 
in Oxford, Mass. Mr. Roberts studied theology with Rev. H. Daggett, 

Notes — Loratne County. IIS 

of Cornwall, Ct.; preached a number of years in the State of Maine; 
came to the Reserve in 1834, and supplied Sandusky one year. He 
is now preaching south of the Reserve. 

Vermillion. Mr. Lyon was pastor of this church two years; and 
after his dismission, he taught a select school in Brownhelm, Loraine 
county. And subsequently he supplied the churches of Granger, and 
Sharon, Medina county. Mr. Griffith, son of a clergyman in England, 
studied theology at Hackney College, England. He came into this 
county about the year 1832, and after preaching one year, returned 
to his native land. Mr. Barber preaches here at present. 

AVakeman. Mr. Betts is the present pastor of this church. 


Amherst. The church in this place has occasional supplies. 

Avon. Mr. Ladd commenced preaching in 1811, in England, while 
he was connected with the Wesleyan Methodist denomination. He 
continued in this connection thirteen years, and in 1824 he withdrew 
from the Methodists, and united with the Congregational Dissenters. 
He was pastor of a church in that denomination, in England, until 
1834, when he came to America. Since his arrival, he has been 
preaching for most of the time in Avon. 

Brownhelm. Mr. Betts studied the profession of medicine, and 
practiced the same for a number of years. He studied theology with 
Rev. William Hanford, of Hudson, and now of Windham, Portage 
county ; has preached at different times to several feeble churches in 
Huron county, and vicinity, under the patronage of the Connecticut 
Missionary Society ; was installed pastor of the church in Brownhelm 
in April, 1821, and lie remained in this connection for more than 
twelve years. He now preaches in Florence. Mr. Clark is the pres- 
ent minister in Brownhelm. 

Columbia. The church here is vacant. 

Carlisle. Mr. Eastman studied theology with Rev. Evans Beards- 
ley, of Morris Flats, N. Y.; preached for several years in that State ; 
then came to the Reserve, and now lives at Oberlin. 

114 T H^E Plan of Union. 

Elykia. This church has ever pursued the scriptural course of 
having a settled pastor; and has enjoyed successively the labors of 
three ministers — Messrs. Lathrop, Shipherd, and Eells, and been fre- 
quently blessed with revivals of religion. Mr. Lathrop studied theol- 
ogy with Rev. Mr. Armstrong, D. D.; was settled pastor of this church 
for five years, and was dismissed in August, 1830, to enter upon a 
permanent agency for the American Home Missionary Society, for the 
Reserve and Michigan, which ofiBce he still holds. Mr. Shipherd stud- 
ied theology with Rev. Josiah Hopkins, of New Haven, Vt., and now 
of Auburn, N. Y. After completing his education, he performed an 
agency for the American Sunday School Union, for the State of Ver- 
mont, a year or two ; came to the Reserve in 1830 ; commenced sup- 
plying the church of Elyria in October of that year ; was installed in 
February following, and dismissed in September, 1832. Soon after his 
dismission, he and Mr. Philo P. Stuart, formerly connected with one of 
the South-western Indian Missions, projected and executed a plan for 
establishing a colony of Christians in the township of Russia, Loraine 
county, to which they gave the name of Oberlin. Their original 
plan was, to connect with the colony an institution of learning, 
where youth of both sexes might be prepared for the various depart- 
ments of life. At first, they aimed at nothing more than a good ''pre- 
paratory school." The plan has, however, been since changed, and 
preparatory collegiate and theological departments have been estab- 
lished with various modifications. Mr. Shipherd commenced preach- 
ing at Oberlin in September, 1833, and was installed pastor of the 
church in that place in July, 1835. Mr. Eells, the present pastor of 
Elyria church, is son of Rev. James Eells, of Charlestown, Portage 
county. After closing his education at Princeton, he, in connection 
with his father, commenced a Manual Labor School in Worthington, 
Ohio, from which place he was called to take charge of the church in 
this town. 

Grafton, La Grange, and Penfield. These churches are now 

Oberlin. Mr. Shipherd is the present pastor of this church. 

NojES — Medina County. 115 

Olmstead. This church is destitute. 

RriDGEViLLE, and Sheffield. The present minister of these two 
churches is Mr. Monteith, who was the first, or one of tlie first min- 
isters, who preached in the city of ^Detroit. He also, at the same 
time, labored in other parts of the territory of Michigan. Subse- 
quently he was, for a season, professor of languages in Hamilton col- 
lege ; and afterward, instructor in the Manual Labor Academy estab- 
lished in Germantown, near Philadelphia, Pa. From 1833, until the 
summer of 1835, he was teacher of the high school in Elyria, where 
he now resides. 

Wellington, and Brighton. Mr. Smith was a member of Dart- 
mouth college, but left the college during his senior year, and did not 
graduate ; studied theology a short time with Rev. Messrs. Lawton, 
of Hillsborough, Whiton, of Antrim, and Kingsbury, of Mount Ver- 
non, N. H.; was licensed by the HoUis Association in January, 1825, 
and came to Wellington June following ; and after preaching here and 
in the township of Penfield one year, he returned to New England, 
and was ordained as an evangelist, by an ecclesiastical council Sep- 
tember, 1826. For several years past, he has been preaching in 
Maumee, Ohio, and vicinity, Mr. Talcott, the present pastor of 
Wellington, came into the county soon after he completed his educa- 
tion, and was installed October, 1828, and has preached since, one 
year a part of his time, in Penfield. 


Bath. This church has enjoyed successively the labors of Messrs. 
Woodruff, Shaler, and Smith. It is now destitute. Mr. Shaler stud- 
ied theology with Rev. Dr. Elliot, of Conn.; came to the Reserve 
fifteen or sixteen years since, under the patronage of the Connecticut 
Missionary Society; was settled pastor of Richfield church nine years, 
and has labored here and in other towns as stated supply, at different 
periods and for different lengths of time. He now resides in Rich- 
field. Mr. Smith, the present minister, left Andover Theological 
Seminary in 1821 ; came to the Reserve in the year following, and 

116 The Plan of Union. 

preached one year in Boardman, Canfield, and Ellsworth, Trumbull 
county. After this, he spent over two years as a missionary in Illi- 
nois and Missouri ; subsequently returned to the Reserve ; has since 
labored in several places at different times, and for three years past 
has preached in Richfield. 

Brunswick. Mr. Barnes formerly preached in New York State for 
a number of years. Since he has been in the Reserve, he has labored 
at different times in Brunswick, Medina, and now supplies Weymouth 
church. Mr. Laine left Andover Theological Seminary in 1834, and 
was installed pastor of this church in May, 1835. 

Chatham. The present minister of this church is Mr. Goodell. 

Granger. Mr. Taylor studied theology with the late Rev. Dr. 
Hyde, of Lee, Mass.; was settled twice, for a number of years each, in 
Connecticut ; came to the Reserve five or six years ago ; supplied the 
churches of Granger and Hinckley for a season, and now resides in 
Freedom, Portage county. The church is vacant. 

Guilford. Mr. Noyes, after remaining at Dartmouth College over 
one year, left on account of ill health ; studied theology with Rev. 
Mr. Ide, of Medwaj', Mass.; came to the Reserve, October, 1831, and 
has ever since been supplying this church. 

Harrisville. This church is nowdestitute. 

Hinckley. Mr. Laine, of Brunswick, preaches here a pai't of the 

La Fayette. Mr. Boutelle left Andover Theological Seminary in 
1831 ; spent over three years in the western part of Ohio, and com- 
menced preaching in this place and in Westfield, August, 1835. 

Litchfield. Mr. Smith studied theology with Rev. P. V. Bogue, 
of Harpersville, N. Y.; was licensed in 1832, and ordained as an 
evangelist in 1834, by the Chenango Presbytery, and came to this 
place in June, 1835. 

Medina. Mr. Lee, the present minister of this place, came to the 
Preserve in November, 1834, soon after closing his studies in Auburn 
Theological Seminary. 

Weymouth Church, This church is located in the corner of Medina 

Notes — Medina County. 117 

township, and its present minister is Mr. Barnes, "who is also preach- 
ing a part of his time in the corner of Granger township, where there 
is no church formed. 

Richfield. Mr. Cooke studied at Williams College, but did not 
graduate; acquired his theological education under the tuition of 
Rev. John H. Rice, D. D., and Professor Hiram Goodrich, of Prince 
Edward, Va.; was licensed by the North Suffolk Association, Massa- 
chusetts, in August, 1830, and was ordained as an evangelist in 
September following ; supplied the church in Richfield one year ; the 
church in Plymouth, Richland county, one year ; then the church in 
Gainesville, N. Y., one year, and is now preaching in Bloomfield, 

Sharon. Mr. .Johnson, the present minister, was settled in the 
ministry a number of years in New York State ; and after his health 
failed, he came into this country, and settled in this place where he is 
now preaching. 

Wadsworth. Mr, Jerome studied theology with Rev. Charles 
Backus, D. D., of Somers, Conn.; was settled over this church for 
nearly three years ; returned to New England, and died in New Hart- 
ford, Conn., April, 1832. Mr. Fay studied theology with Rev Mr. 
Ide, Medway, Mass.; was licensed in 1826 ; ordained in 1830, at West- 
borough, Mass., his native place ; and soon after emigrated to the Re- 
serve under the patronage of the American Home Missionary Society, 
and supplied the church of Wadsworth about five years. Mr. Fay 
was a faithful and useful minister : he usually enjoyed perfect health 
and was not unable to preach, on account of ill health, a single Sab- 
bath, until his last sickness. He died much loved and lamented by 
his church and his brethren in the ministry. This place is now des- 

Westfield. The present minister of this church is Mr. Boutelle. 
York. Previous to the commencement of Mr. Russ's labors in thi'^ 
place, which was more than one year before his installation, Mr. 
Churchill, a licentiate, prcnchod one year to this church. He was 
formerly connected with the Methodist denomination. • 

118 The Plan of Union 


This county was organized in 1807. In 1^20, it contained a popu- 
lation of 10,095 ; and in 1830, a population of 18,82G. It embraces 
thirty townships and twenty-eight churches, nine of which are vacant. 
There are six townships, in which there is no Presbyterian or Congre- 
gational church. Ravenna is the seat of justice. 

Akrox. This is an important place, situated at the junction of the 
Mahoning canal with the Ohio canal. The chiu'ch has been recently 
formed, and now enjoys the labors of Mr. Brooks, who, after complet- 
ing his education, spent some time in Illinois, from which place he 
came to the Reserve. He supplied for a season the church in Edein- 
burg, in connection with this. 

Atwater. Mr. Field came to the Reserve at an early day, and after 
preaching for a season from place to place, as a missionary, he stat- 
edly supplied the church in this town for one year ; and then moved 
into one of the southern States, where he taught school for a time, 
and died near Natchez, the 7th of August, 1827. The present minis- 
ister is Mr. Beardsley. 

Aurora. This church has enjoyed the labors of one pastor, for 
more than twenty-three years, under whose preaching it has been 
blessed repeatedly with large accessions to its number. Mr. Seward 
labored both before and after his installation, a part of his time as a 
missionary in the vicinity of Aurora. 

Brimfielu. There had been a church formed in this place for a 
number of years previous to 1832, when, having become almost ex- 
tinct, it was reorganized. Mr. Graham, the present minister, was 
born in Ireland, but educated in America. lie was licensed by the 
Portage Presbytery in 1834, and afterwards supplied the church in 
Franklin a part of the time for one year. 

Charlestowx. The church in this place was formed in Middle 
Granville, Mass., in 1811, by Rev. Joel Baker. At the time of its or- 
ganization, the church consisted of six members, and soon after emi- 

Notes — Portage County. 119 

grated to this country. Mr. Pitkin came to the Reserve in 1816, and 
was settled pastor in this place about eight years, from -whence he 
was called to act as agent for the Western Reserve College, which was 
then in its infancy. Mr. Coe, after graduating, taught school for a 
number of years in different places in the Reserve ; subsequently was 
licensed to preach, and was pastor of the church in this place over 
four years ; supplied, for a time, the churches in Freedom and Brim- 
field, and for nearly two years past, has taught the academy in Tal- 
madge. Mr. Eells, the present minister, studied theology with Rev. 
Charles Backus, D. D., of Somers, Conn.; was settled over the church 
in Westmoreland, N. Y., for a number of years ; subsequently labored 
as an agent for the Western Education Society of New York ; con- 
nected with Hamilton college six years; came to Ohio in 1830 or 1831, 
had in connection with his son, commenced a Manual Labor School in 
Worthington, from which place he removed to Charlestown in 1834. 

Cuyahoga Falls. The church was formed under flattering pros- 
pects, and since Mr. Baldwin left the place, it has been supplied 
naostly^ by some one of the officers of the Western Reserve College. 

Deerfield. This church was formed at an early day, and has been 
supplied more or less, by Rev. Messrs. Joseph Treat, and Joseph Har- 
per. It is now destitute. 

Edinburg. This church, previously to 1834, had occasional sup- 
plies, chiefly from Messrs. Storrs, Sheldon, and Nash. From Novem- 
ber, 1834, Mr. Brooks supplied it six months. Mr. Bissell, the pres- 
ent minister, studied theology with the late Rev. Luther Hart, of Ply- 
mouth, Conn,; came to the Reserve about the year 1827, and was set- 
tled pastor of the Church in Twinsburgh over seven years. While here, 
he taught an academy for some time, and was very useful, both as a 
teacher and a pastor. In September last, he removed to Edinburg. 

Franklin. This church has had one settled pastor, Mr. Sheldon, 
and two "stated supplies," Messrs. Goodell, and Graham; and is now 
destitute. Mr. Sheldon left Andover Theological Seminary in 1823; 
and soon after came to the Reserve. He was settled over this church 
in 1825, and continued pastor four years. He also supplied the church 

120 The Plan of Union. 

in Stowe for a time, and the church in Painesville, Geauga county. 
In 1829, he was appointed agent of the American Bible Society for 
Ohio and Michigan, in which capacity he still continues with his usual 
energy and success. 

Freedom. Mr. Treat studied theology under the tuition of Rev. 
Ebenezer Porter, D. D. He was ordained in Woodbury, Conn., May 
5, 1814, and soon after came to the Reserve under the patronage of 
the Connecticut Missionary Society; was installed in AVindham, Sep- 
tember, 1817, and dismissed Oct. 1827. He has supplied a number of 
churches at different times ; labored in Garrettsville two years previ- 
ous to the formation of a church in that village, and is preaching there 
still. Mr. Rockwell, the present minister, studied theology with Rev. 
Josiah Hopkins, of >Jew Haven, Vt., and more recently of Auburn, 
N. Y. He was settled for a number of years in Vermont, and in July 
last, came to the Reserve and commenced preaching in this place, 
where he still continues. 

Garrettsville. This village is situated on the comer of Nelson, 
Hiram, Freedom, and Windham. Mr. Treat is the present minister. 

Hudson. This town is called after Mr. Hudson, the first settler in 
the township. He came to the place in 1800, and removed his family 
in the year following. He crossed Lake Erie five times in an open boat 
or canoe. He is still living. Mr. Hanford was settled over the church 
in this place in 1815, and dismissed in 1831, having received a call to 
become pastor of the church in Windham, where he still labors. Mr. 
Doolittle, the present minister, studied theology with the late Rev. 
Luther Hart, of Plymouth, Conn.; was settled for several years in 
north-east Pennsylvania, from whence he was called to take the charge 
of the church in Hudson 

Western Reserve College Church. The Professor of Biblical 
Theology is regarded as the pastor of the church. Mr. Green was 
the first elected to this office. He had been settled over the church 
in Brandon, Vermont, a number of years, from which place he was 
called to Kennebeck, Maine, and from thence to this college. He is 
now president of Oneida Institute. Mr. Folsom, after leaving Andover 

Notes — Portage County. 121 

Theological Seminary in 1831, spent some time in the southern States; 
in the winter of 1832 and 1833, he preached three months in Cleve- 
and, OhiOj^and from thence he was called to a professorship in Lane 
Seminary. While there, in September, 1833, he was invited to the 
professorship in this college, which he now fills, and is pastor of the 

Mantua. This church has enjoyed successively, the labors of 
Messrs. Coe, Seward, Pepoon, Hopkins, and Danforth. It is now 
destitute. Mr. Hopkins studied theology with his brother. Rev. 
Josiah Hopkins, now of Auburn, N. Y. He was settled for a time in 
Vermont ; came to the'^Reserve in 1830 ; and supplied this church and 
that in Shalersville, one year. He is now, and has been for three 
or four years past, preaching in Canton, Ohio. 

MiDDLEBURT. Mr, Baldwin left Andover Theological Seminary, in 
1822, and has been preaching in this place about five years ; a part 
of the time, however, for two or three years he preached in the vil- 
lage of Cuyahoga Falls. 

Nelson. Mr. Fenn studied theology with Rev. Bezaleel Pinneo, of 
Milford, Ct. ; was pastor of the church in this place about sixteen 
years, and in April last was dismissed to accept a call from the church 
in Gustavus, Trumbull Co. While at Nelson, he supplied for a time, 
the churches in Windham and Southington. 

NoRTHFiELD. Mr. Pitkin is the present minister of this church. 

Palmyra. This church .has had but little stated preaching, and 
and is now destitute. 

Ravenna. Mr. Storrs was the son of the late Rev. Richard S. 
Storrs, of Longmeadow, Mass. He studied in the College of New 
Jersey until his junior year, when, by reason of ill health, he left 
college. After regaining his health in some degree, he pursued the- 
ological studies under the tuition of Rev. Dr. Woolworth, of Bridge- 
hampton, Long Island, In 1813 he was licensed to preach ; and in 
1817 he entered Andover Theological Seminary, where he remained 
three years. After closing his studies there he proceeded to the south, 

122 The Plan op Union. 

and was ordained as an evangelist in Charleston, Soutli Carolina, 
Jan. 3, 1821. In the year following he came to the Reserve, and 
settled at Ravenna, where he continued over six years. And from 
thence he was called to "fill the chair of professor of theology, in 
the Western Reserve College ; subsequently was appointed president, 
and Feb. 1831, inaugurated. By reason of ill health in the summer 
of 1833, he was released from the duties of his office for six 
months, by the trustees. In August, he visited his brother at Brain- 
tree, Mass., where he was to close his days. His health rapidly de- 
clined, and on the 15th of Sept., Sabbath morning, at half past one 
o'clock, his spirit took its upward flight. The principal characteris- 
tics of President Storrs, were singleness of aim ; resoluteness of pur- 
pose ; and persverance in effort. His name will ever be associated 
with the interests of religion, benevolence, and learning at the West, 
and his departure is deeply to be deplored." Mr .Nash is son of the 
late Rev, J. Nash of Middlefield, Mass. He studied at Andover The- 
ological Seminary two years, and left the Seminary by reason of ill 
health. He came to the Reserve and was settled over this church in 

Randolph and Rootstown. These churches have had one pastor, 
Mr. Meriam, and they still enjoy his labors. He left Andover The- 
ological Seminary in 1822. 

Shalersville. This church is now destitute. 

Springfield. This church has had some stated supplies from dif- 
ferent ministers, and has enjoyed successively the labors of two pas- 
tors, Messrs. Beer and Hughes. Mr. Beer studied theology with Rev. 
Thomas E. Hughes of Beaver County, Pa. ; was licensed October 20, 
1808, and labored as a pastor in this place for several years ; then for 
a season as a "stated supply," in Newton, Trumbull Co., and sub- 
sequently was settled south of the Reserve, in Middle Sandy, where 
he still continues. Mr. Hughes is sou of Rev. Thomas E. Hughes; 
studied at Princeton Theological Seminary, and has been pastor of 
this church more than six years. 

Stowe. This church is now destitute. 

Notes — Trumbull County. 123 

Strebtsborough. Mr. Dean, after the close of his studies at Au- 
burn Theological Seminary, preached some time in New York State ; 
then came to the Reserve and settled in this place, and supplied the 
church for one year. 

Tallmadge. Mr. Bacon commenced preaching here as early as there 
were any inhabitants for hearers ; formed the church in his own'house,; 
closed his labors with the church in 1812 ; returned to New England, 
and in August, 1817, died at Hartford, Ct. Mr. Parmelee, on leaving 
Andover Theological Seminary in 1830, engaged in an agency for the 
American Board of Commissoners for Foreign Missions, for six months, 
and subsequently preached in Westfield, New York, from which place 
he wascalled to take the ministerial charge of the church in Tallmadge. 

TwiNSBURG. Mr. Hair, the present minister, spent one year or 
more as teacher in theManual Labor Academy of Ann Arbor, Mich- 
igan. While engaged in this business, he was licensed to preach by 
the Monroe Presbytery. After closing his school he came to the 
Reserve and commenced preaching in this place in October last. 

Windham. Mr. Hanford is the present pastor of this church. 


This county lies south of Ashtabula Co. and east of Portage. It was 
organized in 1800. In 1820 it contained a population of 15,546, and 
in 1830, 26,153. It embraces thirty-five townships and twenty-nine 
churches, five of which are destitute. There are six townships in 
which there is no Presbyterian or Congregational church. Warren is 
the seat of justice. 

AusTiNTOWN and .Weathersfield. This church has been supplied 
at different times successively by Messrs. Woodruff, Beers, and Strat- 
ton. Mr. Stratton is the present minister. Since he was licensed 
he has preached in Canfield^ Ellsworth, and Newton. 

Bazetta. Mr. Miller studied theology with the late Rev. Giles H. 
Cowles, D. D., of Austinburg ; was settled in Bristol about five years 
and has supplied a number of churches for a short time each. Some 
time after his dismission from Bristol, he moved to Farmington, and 
taught the academy in that place for a year or two ; and the last 

124 The Plan of Union. 

winter and spring he labored in Seneca Co. west of the Reserve, for 
the good of the Catholics, and to some extent was successful in his 


Bloomitield. Mr. Hart studied theology with the late Rev. Giles 
H. Cowles, D. D. of Austinburg ; was pastor of this church for several 
years; and is now preaching in Springfield, Penn. Mr. Burbank is 
the present minister. 

BoARDMAN. This church has enjoyed successively, the labors of 
Messrs. Hanford, Smith, Stratton, and j Stafford. Mr. Stafford at 
present preaches but a part of his time. 

Braceville. Mr. Curtis left Andover Theological Seminary in 
1815; came to the Reserve some time before 1820, and in that year 
was installed over the church in Warren, and returned to Vermont in 
1831, but his pastoral relation was not dissolved until the year follow- 
ing. While in Warren he preached a part of his time in this place. 
He has been for one or two years past a missionary in Canada. Mr. 
Russ studied theology a few months with Rev. William A. Hawley, of 
Hinsdale, Mass ; then went to Virginia and studied one year and a 
half with Rev. Francis Thornton, of Culpepper Co., and Rev. William 
Hill, D. D., of Winchester. He was licensed by Winchester Presby- 
tery, and then returned to the north and spent a short time at Auburn 
Theological Seminary. After spending a season as a missionary with- 
in the bounds of Albany Co., N. Y., he came to the Reserve. He has 
since labored in Sandusky, Greenfield, and New Haven, Huron Co.; 
Braceville and Gustavus in this County ; Wayne, Ashtabula Co. ; and 
York, Medina Co. In the last mentioned place he has been recently 
settled as pastor. Mr. Bouton is the present minister of Braceville. 

Bristol. Mr. Barrett is the present minister of this church. 

Brookfield. Mr. Core came to America in 1802, and soon after to 
Pennsylvania, where, in October, 1816, he was licensed to preach by 
the Presbytery of Hartford, now Beaver, and in June following was 
installed over the churches in Brookfield, Vienna, and Youngstown. 
He was dismissed from Vienna in 1820, from Youngstown in April, 
1823, and from Brookfield in October following ; and became pastor 

Notes— -Trumbull County. 125 

of two or three congregations in Pennsylvania, where he now labors. 
Mr. Harper, last year and a part of the present, supplied this church. 

Canfield. This church has enjoyed successively the labors of 
Messrs. Hanford, Smith. Sullivan, and Stratton. Previous to his in- 
stallation, Mr. Stratton preached to this church and that of Ellsworth 
for more than a year. At length some difficulty arose in Canfield, in 
relation to church government, which resulted in the organization of 
a strictly Presbyterian church, and the dismission of Mr. Stratton 
from the old church and his settlement in the new one. This occurred 
in January, 1835. Mr. Stratton has also supplied the church in 

First Presbyterian Church. Mr. Stratton is the present pastor. 

Ellswoeth. Mr. Bruce studied theology with Rev. Thomas E. 
Hughes of Greensburg, Pennsylvania. Soon after he was licensed, 
he commenced preaching in this place ; was pastor of five years ; and 
after his dismission he preached as stated supply in Newton one year, 
and died in that place in November, 1816. The church in Elsworth 
is now vacant. 

Farmingtok. Mr. Bouton supplied this church for a season, and 
in 1830 removed to Illinois, where he preached a year or two, and 
then removed to Michigan, where he remained as much longer. Some 
time in the present year he came back to Farmington, and was in- 
stalled pastor in September, 1835. He has also supplied several other 
churches in this county at different times, 

West Church. Mr. Chapin is the present minister ; and also the 
teacher of the academy in this place. 

FowLEB and Johnson. Mr. Eells, the pastor of these two 
churches, studied theology with Rev. Thomas Robbins of East Wind- 
sor, Conn. ; was licensed by the Hartford North Consociation, and or- 
dained as an evangelist by the Presbytery of Oswego, N. Y. He was 
installed over these churches in October 1827. 

Hartford. Mr. Andrews was ordained and installed by the Presby- 
tery of Winchester, Virginia, over the church in Alexandria, Va. in 

126 The Plan of Union. 

1817; dismissed in 1827; and installed over the chiirch of Hartford 
in the same year, and still remains pastor. 

GcsTAVus. Mr. Badger is senior pastor of this church, and Mr. 
Fenn his colleague. 

Greene. This church is now vacant. 

Hubbard. This church has had supplies successively from several 

Kinsman. Mr. Mcllvaine commenced preaching in 1827 ; labor- 
ed some time in Monroe, Michigan, and from thence came to Kins- 
man, where he still continues. 

Liberty. Mr. Scott was licensed by the Presbytery of New- 
castle ; was installed pastor of this church and that of Poland, in 
April, 1834, and still continues such. 

Mecca. Mr. Calhoon formerly preached in New York State, 
and is now supplying the church in this place. 

Milton and Newton. Mr. Boyd studied theology with Rev. John 
McMillan, D. D., Vice President of Jeflferson College ; was licensed 
to preach by the Presbytery of Erie in 1806 ; installed over this 
church and that of Warren in 1808 ; and remained in this connec- 
tion until his death. Some portion^ of his time he spent as a mis- 
sionary under the patronage of the Connecticut Missionary Society. 
Mr. Stratton preaches here, at present, a part of his time. 

Poland. Mr. Pettenger was settled pastor of this church for 
six years. Mr. Cook statedly supplied it for eighteen months. Mr. 
Hanford, six months. Mr. Wright studied theology with Rev. John 
McMillan, D. D., Vice President of Jeflferson College; was licensed 
to preach by the Presbytery of Ohio in October, 1814 ; was settled 
pastor over this church nearly sixteen years ; and dismissed for the 
purpose of spending his whole time with the congregation in Westfield, 
Pa., where he still labors. Mr. Scott is the present pastor. 

Mesopotamia. Mr. Burbank is the present minister of this 

SouTHiNOTON, The present minister of this church is Mr. 

Notes — Trumbull County. 127 

Vernon. Mr. H. Coe studied theology -with. Rev. Dr. Fitch, President 
of Williams College, and Rev. Dr. Cooley, of Granville, Mass. He 
came into this country soon after he was licensed to preach, and 
vras pastor of this church nearly sixteen years, and was dismissed 
to enter upon an agency for the Western Reserve College, to which 
he had been previously invited. He continued in this business about 
two years, and then accepted an agency for the American Board of 
Commissioners for Foreign Missions, for the Reserve and Michigan. 
Since he entered upon this field of labor, he has acted, for a season, 
several times, as agent for the college. In both stations he has 
been eflBicient and successful. He resides at Hudson. Mr. Evana, 
the present minister of Vernon, studied theology with Rev. Eden 
Burroughs, D. D., of Hanover, N. H., the father of the noted 
Stephen Burroughs, who is now a Catholic priest in Canada. Mr. 
Evans was settled in Enfield, N. H., twenty-one years. Between 1825 
and 1834, he preached as " stated supply" within the bounds of Roches- 
ter and Niagara Presbyteries, and came to Vernon in Sept., 1834. 

Vienna. Mr. Derrow studied at Hamilton College, but did not 
graduate. He pursued his theological studies under the tuition of 
Rev. Mr. Steel, of Paris, N. Y., and Rev. Dr. Norton, of Clin- 
ton N. Y. ; was licensed by the Oneida Association in 1801 ; set- 
tled a number of years in Homer, N. Y., was pastor of the church 
in Vienna nearly four years ; then was absent over six years, and 
afterward returned and was reinstalled Februrary 6, 1822, and 
died in Vienna, November 18, 1828. Mr. Birge was licensed in 1827; 
came to Ohio in 1828, and spent one year in New Philadelphia, 
south of the Reserve ; came to Vienna in 1829, and was installed 
in November, 1830, and was dismissed by reason of ill health in 
May, 1835. The church is now vacant. 

Warren. Mr. Hulin preached to this church six months or more, 
and then returned to New England, and settled in New Fairfield, 
Conn. Mr. Towne was settled over the church in Hanover, N. H., 
from June 22, 1814, to January, 1833 ; commenced supplying the 
church in Warren, May 25, 1834, and was installed in May following. 

128 The Plan OP Union. 

YouNGSTOWN. Mr. Wick was the second minister who came to 
the Reserve, and the first that was installed. He studied theology 
with Rev. John McMillan, D. D., of Jefferson College: was set- 
tled over this church in 1800, and died March 29, 1815, aged 47. 
Mr. Harnard supplied this church about three years, and now lives 
in Philadelphia, Pa. Mr. Stafford, the present pastor, studied the- 
ology with Rev. Timothy Dwight, D. D., President of Yale College; 
preached a number of years in New York ; was instrumental in es- 
tablishing a Seaman's Chapel in that city ; performed a short agency 
for the Bible cause, before the American Bible Society was formed ; 
was secretary, for a number of years, of the Presbyterian Educa- 
tion Society, and came to the Reserve about the year 1829, and was 
installed pastor of the church in this place April 6, 1830, and still 
continues as such. 







1810. Increase. 1820. Increase. 1830. Increase. 

16,241 15,097 56,899 41802 112,346 55,447 

1810. Inc. 1820. Inc. 1830. Inc. 1835. Inc. 

19 18 65 46 98 33 149 51 


Probably. Increase 

160,000 47,654 

Unknown, Total. 

10 159 

Mass. N. H. Vt. N. Y. Pa. Me. England. Irel' 
41 10 11 21 9 1 3 2 


HamUton. C. of N. J. 
8 3 

Dartmouth. Middlebury. Brown. Amherst. 
11 9 5 3 

Dickinson. Jeff'n. Hackney. W. R. 

Ando T S N. H. T i 
29 8 

Hackney T S 

6 19 1 

Bangor T S Princeton T S Auburn T S 




d. Unknown. Total. 
15 160 

Vt.Univ; Bowd'n; 
1 1 

Notgr. Unkn. Total; 
42 9 160 

■West. T S S 4 W T S 

1 1 



In 1800 there Were in the Reserve two ministers ; in 1810 there were eight ; in 
1820 there were twenty-seven; in 1830 there were seventy-two ; and up to 1835 there 
have been one hundrbd and twelve, of whom'thirteen have either died or removed 
from the Reserve. 

Number of TownsJdps, Churches, Destitute Churches, and Townships where there is no 
Presbyterian or Congregational Church, in each County. 





No chs. 

Ashtabula, . 

. 27 





. 18 







Huron, . 

. 31 







Medina. . 

. . 19 









. . 35 




Totals, ... 201 159 55 49 

There j'have been erected for the Reserve, within the last six years, about sixty- 
meeting houses, neat, comfortable, and of respectable appearance, by the Presbyte 
rian denomination. 


The Plan of Union 

The following statistics, extracted from the Minutes of the 
General Assembly, will show the strength of the Synod at the 
different times specified : 

In 1837 the Western Eeserve Synod embraced eight Pres- 
byteries : 
























































Number of Ministers 

" Licentiates 

" Churches 

" Communicants 

♦Maumee and Elyria were reorganized in 1842. The date of their first organiza- 
tion I have not learned. Elyria covers the ground formerly occupied hy Lorain. 

In 1840 the statistics were as follows : 

Number of Ministers 

" Licentiates 

" Churches 

" Communicants. 



















5 3 




361 7 















In 1846 the Reports to the General Assembly showed eight 
Presbyteries ; one hundred and thirty Ministers ', fifteen Licen- 
tiates ; one hundred and forty-six Churches, and nine thousand 
six hundred and twenty-five Communicants. In 1850 there 
were eight Presbyteries; one hundred and thirty Ministers; 
nineteen Licentiates ; one hundred and twenty-seven Churches ; 
and eight thousand five hundred and sixty-six Communicants. 
In 1855 there were seven Presbyteries; one hundred and 
twenty-two Ministers; seven Licentiates; one hundred and 



ten Churches ; and six thousand seven hundred and thirty- 
one Communicants. 

In 184:5 Rev. G. E. Pierce, J). J)., collected statistics rela- 
tive to all the Congregational and Presbyterian Churches of 
the Reserve. The following summary gives the results of his 
investigations : 

Cong. Chs., coauected with Presbytery.. 

Presbyterian Churches, Old School 

" " New School 

Independent Churches, Orthodox Coagrega. 
W. R, Association, Oberlin Congregational.. 



98 6801 


16 1905 
22 1024 

ATcrage Membership in Congregational Churches, b&. 
" " Presbyterian " 120. 

In looking over the above table, the reader will be surprised 
to find the Presbyteries containing so large a proportion of 
Congregational or partly Congregational Churches. The only 
explanation of this phenomenon is found in the adaptation of 
the Plan of Union to satisfy and harmonize people and churches 
attached to the two polities. 

The following statistics are taken from the "Western Reserve 
Register, published at Hudson, by Sawyer, Ingersoll & Co., in 
1852 ; they are not perfect, but give a nearly correct view of 
the Churches at that time : 


Congregational Chnrches marked Pr., are in connection with the 
Presbyteries of W. R. Synod. Those not thus designated, are inde- 
pendent, or united in consociations. A quere (?) is appended to a 

132 The Plan of Union. 

few churches of whose ecclesiastical connection we are not altogether 
certain. P., Pastor; S. S., Stated Supply; W. C, Without Charge. 


Andover. — Congregational Pr. (?) W. Yates. 50 Communicants. — 

(West Andover), Cong., U. T. Chamberlain, 60 com. 
Ashtabula. — Pres., Augustus Pomeroy, P., 140 com. 
Austinhurgh. — Cong., J. H. Avery. 150 com. 
Cherry Valley. — Cong. 

Conneaut. — Pres., Edmunds F. Dickinson, P., 121 com. 
Geneva. — Cong. Pr., Sherman D. Taylor, S. S., 105 com, 
Ilarpersfield. — Cong., (at Unionville), 60 com. (See Madison.) 
Jefferson — Cong. Pr., Wm. Burton, S. S., 29 com. 
Kingsville. — Pres., Erastus C. Williams, S. S., 50 com. 
Lenox. — Cong., S. S., 45 Com. Pres., Vacant, 40 com. 
Monroe. — Cong., L. Beach, 100 com. 
Morgan. — Cong., V., 50 com. 
Sheffield. — Cong., (?), V. 

Orwell. — Cong. Pr., Lewis Godden, S. S., 20 com. 
Pierpont. — Cong., (?), H. Green, 31 com. 
Rome. — Cong, Pres., Alanson Saunders, S. S., 25 com. 
Saybrook. — Cong., N. Day, 50 com. 
Wayne. — Cong. Pr., Francis E. Lord, P., Hiram A. Babcock, W. C, 

85 com. 
Williamsfield. — Cong., George Roberts, 100 com. (At Centre), Cong., 
W. B. Orvis, 60 Com., Ephraim J. Woodbury, Pr., W. C. 


Brecksville. — Cong. Pr., W. S. Kennedy, 115 com., Chester Chapin, 

W. C. 
Brooklyn. — (Cr.) Cong. Pr., Calvin Durfee, 40 com. Thomas Lee, 

W. C. Pres., (Ohio City), J. A. Thome, P., 134 com. 

Chagrin Falls. — Cong., Taylor. 

Cleveland.— 1st Pres., S. C. Aiken, D. D., P., 318 com.; 2d Pres., S. 

Statistics. 133 

B. Canfield, P., 234 com.; 3d Pres., E. H. Nevin, P. ; a 4th Pres. 

church and a Cong, church are organized, and arrangements made 
for building ; Associate Pres., J. McGill, P., 60 com. ; German 

Protestant, A. Allardt, P., 300 com.; German Lutheran, David 

Schuh, P., 350 com. 

Resident. — Rev. Wm. Day, Chaplain Bethel ; R, H. Leonard, 

Sec; S. H. Lacy, E. N. Sawtell, Agents; S. T. Mills and S. W. 

Burrit, W. C. 

East Cleveland. — Pres., Torrey, S. S , 64 com. 

Euclid. — Pres., Jonathan Bigelow, P. 112 com. 

Dover. — Cong., Abram Blakeley, 77 com. 

Independence. — Cong., Pr,, Benj. F. Sharp, S. S., 14 com. 

May field. — Pres., vacant, 20 com. 

Newburg. — Pres., James Shaw, S. S., 25 Com.; Joseph H. Breck, W. C. 

Olmstead. — Cong., vacant. 

Parma. — Cong. Pr., Phineas Kingsley (res. Cleveland), S. S., 54 com. 

Rockport. — Cong., vacant. 

Solon. — Cong. Pr., John Seward, 33 com., Ebenezer Ward, W. C. 

Strongsville. — Cong. Pr., vacant, 90 com.; Cong., vacant, 30 Com., 

Hervey Lyon, Teacher. 

Berlin. — Cong. Pr., Joseph H. Scott, S. S., 80 com. 
Florence. — Cong. Pr., Eldad Barber, P., 44 com. Pres., (at Birming- 
ham), Jonathan B. Parlin, 36 com. 
Huron. — Pres., Cornelius H. Taylor, S. S., 30 com. 
Margareita. — (Castalia) Cong., Pr., H. A. Rossiter, S. S., 73 com. 
Milan. — Cong. Pr., Newton Barrett, P., 204 com. 

Sandusky City. — Pres., Caleb J. Pitkin, S. S., 100 com., Cong., 

Fairfield, Leverett Hull, Agent S. F. Society. 
Vermillion. — Cong. Pr., Almon G. Martin, S. S., 30 com. 


Bainbridge. — Cong., Mead Holmes, 55 com. 
Batavie. — Cong., D. Witter, (res. Bui'ton). 

134 The Plan op Union. 

Burton. — Cong., Pr., Ebenezer Bushnell, 80 com. 

Chester. — Cong., Pr., Wm. Dempsey, S. S., 162 com. 

Claridon. — Cong., Wm. Potter, S. S., 140 com. 

Hampden. — Cong., Pr., S. V. Blakeslee, S. S., 65 com. 

Euntshury.— Cong., V. D. Taylor, S. S. 

Montville. — Cong., vacant. 

Newbury. — Cong., Pr., Dexter Witter, (res. Burton), S. S., 25 com. 

Parhman. — Cong., L. S.Ely, 18 com. (At Bundysburg), Associate 

Pres., S. S., 12 com. 

Thompson. — Cong., Thomas Adams, 80 com. 

Troy. — Cong., J. M. Frazer, 50 com. Joseph A. Pepoon, Monson, 

W. C. 

Bronson. — Cong., Pr., Joel Talcott, 30 com. 
Clarksfield. — Cong., Charles Pierce, 82 com. 
Fitchville. — Pres., Marcus Palmer. Cong., S. H. Waldon, 30 com. — 

Abram C. Dubois, W. C. 
Fairfield {North). — Cong., E. P. Salmon, 73 com. 
Greenfield. — Cong., Pr., R. S. Lockwood, 65 com. 
Lyme. — Cong., Pr., Henry N. Bissell, P., 89 com. 
Norwalk. — Pres., Alfred Newton, P., 88 com. Joseph M. Hayes, 

Teacher. Thomas Kennan, W. C. 
Peru. — Cong., Pr., Enoch Conger, S. S., 49 com. 
Ridgefield. — (Monroevllle). Cong., Pr., Chas. W. Clapp, P., 58 com. 
Ripley. — Cong., Pr., Absolom K. Barr, S. S., 25 com. Cong., Amos 

Dresser, 12 com. 
Buggies. — Cong., Pr., Ebenezer P. Sperry, S. S., 45 com. 
Sherman. — Cong., Pr., vacant, 15 com. 
Wakeman. -— 1st Cong., Pr., vacant, 24 com.; 2d Cong., vacant, 75 com. 

Concord. — Cong. 

Eirtland. — Cong., Freeman Coe, 126 com. 
Leroy. — Cong. 

Statistics. 135 

Madison. — Cong., vacant, Cong., (at Centreville), vacant, 85 com. 

Cong., (at Unionville,) vacant, 60 com. 
Painesville. — Pres., J. Mills Gillet, P., 141 com. 
Willoughby. — Cong., Pr., Alvan Nash, S. S., 60 com. 


Amherst. — Cong., Pr., vacant, 24 com. Cong., vacant.- 

Avon. — Cong., William F. Millikan, S. S., 42^'com. 

Black River. — Cong., A, H. Betts, S. S., (res. Brownhelm), 26 com. 

Brighton. — Cong., Erastus Cole, 35 com. 

Brownhelm. — Cong., Pr., Hubbard Lawrence, S. S., 115 com. 

Camden. — Pres., vacant, 14 com. 

Carlisle. — Cong., vacant, 25 com. 

Columbia. — Cong., vacant. 

Elyria. — Cong., Pr.j David A. Grosvenor, P., 197 com. 

Eaton (N.) — Cong., G. C. Judson, (res. Grafton.) 

Grafton. — Cong., G. C. Judson, 40 com. 

Huntington. — Cong., Ansel R. Clark, 42 com. 

La Grange. — Cong., vacant, 12 com. 

Penfield. — Cong., Samuel Penfield, 41 com. 

Pittsfield. — Cong., Austin N, McConaugh, 88 com. 

Ridgeville. — Cong., J. L. Tomlinson. 

Rochester. — Cong., Pr., Madison Elliott, S. S., 39 com. 

Russia. — (Oberlin), Cong., Charles G. Finney, P., John Morgan, Ass. 
P., 850 com. J. Keep, W. C, Henry Cowles, James H. Fairchild, 
James Monroe, Henry E. Peck, Henry E. Whipple, res. Prof.'s. 

Sheffield. — Cong., James B. Wright, 40 com. 

Wellington. — Ansel R. Clark, (res. Huntington), 107 com. 


Austintown. — Pres., (Reform), L. Sterrit, 60 com. Covenanters, R. 

McCracken, 70 com. (?) (Ref.) N. S., V., 00 com. 
Boardman. — Cong., Pr.,* James P. Price, 20 com. 
Canfield. — Pres.,* J. Reeser, 85 com. Pres., (Dutch), H. Sohen- 

decker, 80 com. Cong., W. Barr, (?) 22. 

136 The Plan or Union. 

Coitsvihe. — Pres.,* Abner 0. Rockwell, (res. Hubbard), 55 com. 

Ellsivorth. — Cong., Pr., Loomis Chandler, 93 com. 

Jackson. — ,Ger. Reform, J. R. Ruhl, 80 com. Lutheran, F. C. Baker, 

120 com. 
Poland. — Pres.,* Joseph Kerr, P., 168 com. Pres., (Ass.) D. Good- 

willie, 165 com. Pres., (Free), at Lowell, 20 com. 
Youngstown. — Pres., Charles A. Boardman, 142 com. 


Brunsivick. — Cong., Pr., Timothy "Williston, S. S., 42 com. 

Chatham. — Cong., Caleb Bui'bank, P., 52 com. Cong., P., 

49 com. 

Granger. — Cong., 45 com. 

Ouilford. — 1 Pres.,* 1 Cong. 

Hinckley. — Cong., Pr., Horace Smith, (res. Richfield), 42 com. 

Harrisville. — Cong. 

Lafayette. — Cong. • 

Litchfieid-^ Cong. 

Medina— Coiig., F. H. Brown, P., 120 (?) com. Cong., (at Wey- 
mouth), S. S., 45 (? ) com. 

Sharon. — Cong., Johnson, P., 44 ( ? ) com. 

Wadsworth — Cong., Pr., vacant, 25 com. 

Westfield. — Cong., Pr., vacant, 21 com. 

York ^ Cong., R. Hatch, 65 (?) com. 


Atwater — Cong., Pr., Elias C. Sharp, 140 com. 

Aurora. — Cong., Pr., J. S. Graves, 67 com. 

Brimfield — Cong., vacant, 42 ( ? ) com. 

Charlestown. — Pres., vacant, 14 com. Cong., Robert Hunter, 3(?) 

Deerfield — Pres.,"'*- (at North Benton), Wra. 0. Stratton, P., 165 com. 
Edinburgh. — Cong., vacant, 55 com. 

* A star is annexed to rhurches in connection with 0. S. General Assembly.- 

Statistics. 137 

Franklin. — Cong., Wm. D. Sanders, (res. Cleveland.) 

Freedom. — Cong., Francis S. Fuller, 100 com. Friend M. Deming, 

'W. C. 
Mantua.— Cong., Pr., Seth Gr. Clark, Agent A. B. C. F. M. Samuel 

Lee, S. S., 48 com. 
Nelson. — Cong., Pr., Franklin Maginnis, P., 80 com. (At Garretts- 

ville), Cong., Pr., vacant, 30 com. 
Palmyra. — Cong., Pr., A. C Tuttle, 12 com. Associate Pr., John 

R. Slentz, (res. at Hudson), 12 com. Welsh Cong., J. Williams, 

60 ( ? ) com. 
Paris. — Welch Cong., J. Williams, (res. at Palmyra), 60 ( ? ) com. 
Randolph. — Cong., J. Merriam, P., 56 com. Ger. Lutheran, George 

Weaver, 25 com. 
Ravenna. — Cong., Rufus Nutting, Jr., 145 (? ). Cong., W. Burr. 
Rootstown. — Cong., Pr., Jairus Ordway, 77 com. 
Shalersville. — Cong., Eleazer Hale, 12 (? ). 
Streetshorough. — Cong., Pr., vacant, 40 com. 
Suffield. — German Lutheran, George Weaver, 65 com. 
Windham. — Cong., Pr., Hiram Bingham, 177 com. 


Akron. —Cong., N. P. Bailey, P., 82 ( ? ). 

Bath. —Cong., Pr., Horace Smith, S. S., (res. at Richfield), 30 com. 

Boston. — Cong., Pr., George W. Palmer, 17 com. 

Copley. — Cong., Pr., vacant, 23 com. 

Cuyahoga Falls. — Cong., S. P. Leeds, 81 com. 

Hudson. —Cong., John C. Hart, 110 (?) com. Cong., Pr., W. R. C., 

Prof. Elijah P. Barrows, Jr., 140 com. George E. Pierce, D. D., 

Pres. ; C. Long, D. D., H. N. Day, S. C. Bartlett, (Res. Prof.'s) ; 

N. L. Lord, Financial Secretary ; Chauncey Eddy, Myron Tracy, 

Agents ; Caleb Pitkin, Harvey Coe, W. C. 
Northampton. — Cong., Pr., G. W. Palmer, (res. Peninsula), 26 com. 
Northfield. — Pres.,* John Andrews, P., 75 com. Ass. Pr., James W 

Logue, P., 70 com. 

138 The Plan of Union. 

Norton. — Cong., Pr., vacant, 25 com. Lutheran church . 

Richfield.— Gong., J. C. Leonard, 80 (?). 

Springfield. — Pres.,"^ (at Mogadore), John D. Hughes, 119 com.; Ass. 

Pres., John R. Slentz, (res. at Hudson), 14 com. 
Stowe. — Ass. Pres., John R. Slentz, 25 com. 
Tallmadge. —Cong., Pr. Carlos Smith, S. S., William Hanford, W, C, 

196 com. (At Middlebury), Pres., Elroy Curtis, 46 com. (At Mid- 

dlebury,) 2d Cong., Smith, (?),(?) com. 

Tmmhurgh. — Pres., Horace W. Palmer, P., 140 com. 


Bazetta. — Pres., Isaac Winans, 45 com. Ass. Pres., , 

S. S., 17 com. 
Bloomfield. — Cong., Pr., vacant, 66 com. 
Braceville. — Cong., Pr., B. Y. Messenger, 37 com. 
Bristol. — Cong., Pr., vacant, 52 com. 
Brookfield. — Pres.,* Wm. McCombs, P., 54 com. 
Champion. — Pres.,* Joseph S.Dickey, 38 com. German Reformed, 

Samuel Leachreat, 20 com. 
Farmington. — Cong., Pr., Warren Taylor, S. S., 36 com. Cong., P. 

A. Bean, (?) 45 com. 
Fowler. — Cong., J. Winans, S. S. 
Greene. — Cong., Pr., vacant, 30 com. 
Oustavxis. — Cong., Pr., John B, Allen, P., 135 com. 
Hartford. — Cong., H. H. Fairchild, 60 com. 
Hubbard. — Pres.,* Abner 0. Rockwell, P., 115 com. 
Johnston. — Pres., H. Betts, (res. at Vienna), 40 com. Cong., Robert 

Otis, Ozias S. EeUs. 
Kinsman. — Cong., Pr., Henry D. Eldred, 126 com. Ass. Pres.,B. S. 

A. McLean, (?) 40 com. 
Liberty. — Pres.,* Joseph Kerr (res. at Poland), 73 com. Ass. Preg., 

D. Goodwillie, 165 com. 
Lordstown. — Pres.,* Joseph Dickey, P., 27 com. 
Mecca. — Cong., vacant. 

Statistics. 139 

Mesopotamia. — Cong., Pr., Hezekiah W. Osborne, 60 com. 
Newton.— Coxxg., Pr., W. R. Stevens, 68 com, Pres.,* William 0. 

Stratton (res. at N, Benton), 47 com. 
Southington. — Cong., Pr., Geo, D. Young, S. S., 39 com. Lutheran, 

J, R. Ruhl, 110. 
Vernon. — Cong. , P. Keep, 45 com. 
Warren. — Pres., William C. Clark, 201 com. German Reformed, N. 

PaltzgroflF, 50 com. 



" For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we are Jews or 
Gentiles; whether we be bond or free." 

"Now, I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause diTisions and offenses* 
contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned, and avoid them," — Paul. 



We have seen that the Reserve was settled by immigrants 
from New England, and also from Pennsylvania and the States 
south of it. The missionaries, in like manner, were partly from 
Congregational and partly from Presbyterian regions. The 
immigrants and missionaries, of course, brought with them the 
ecclesiastical preferences imbibed in the regions from which they 
came; and all history testifies that of nothing are men more 
tenacious than of their religious predilections and prejudices. 

A certain smart lecturer upon Church Polity says, that " there 
are two, and only two, forms of church government, Popery 
and Congregationalism, or despotism and democracy." Were 
the Professor as comprehensive as he is smart, he might have 
said, more truthfully, there are two extremes of church polity, 
Popery and Independency, or absolute monarchy and democ- 
racy; and between these extremes are found several whole- 
some varieties and modifications, each adapted to certain peo- 
ples and conditions of society. As in civil governments may 
be found various constitutional Monarchies, and Republics, bet- 
ter than either extreme, of despotism or pure democracy ; so in 


144 The Plan op Union • 

ecclesiasticism, we have Episcopacy, Presbyterianism, and Asso- 
ciated Congregationalism, each in its place better than Papacy 
or Independency. And, ignore it who will, the last half cen- 
tury has also developed a new type or modification of ecclesi- 
asticism, worthy of a place in history ; which we may call co- 
operative Presbyterianism, Plan of Unionism, or Presbyteri- 
alized Congregationalism. Christ and the Apostles gave only 
the rudimental germ of church organization, which was to de- 
velope itself spontaneously in diflFerent ages and countries, adapt- 
ing itself to the people and circumstances around it. The 
idea of a particular form of church government, prescribed in 
its details by Inspiration, and enjoined, ^^jure divino," is a 
figment of sectarian imaginations. No two ages of history 
can show an ecclesiasticism perfectly identical, if there be any 
vitality in them. Christ never meant to stereotype nor petrify 
His Church ; as an exclusive and unchangeable ecclesiasticism 
would do. 

The propagandist of any polity, is a poor substitute for a 
Christian apostle and evangelist. Such were not the early 
missionaries of the Reserve. Any ecclesiasticism without the 
fresh life of Christ in it, is but a dead body. But that life is 
adequate to vitalize any body into which it enters. And while 
some forms oi church order are doubtless better adapted to ex- 
press the life of Godliness than others, it will ever be found that 
the form which grows up naturally out of living piety, and 
answers the place and the people, to which it belongs, is there 
and then the best form. Upon this principle each prom- 
inent type and development of ecclesiasticism excepting the ex- 
tremes, may be vindicated in its proper time and place ; and 

Ecclesiastical Organizations. 145 

each is objectionable out of its place. Episcopacy has a na- 
tural adaptation to an aristocracy devoted to tradition and 
formalisms, with neither spirituality nor enterprise adequate 
to any spontaneous activity. Methodism jfinds its legitimate 
field in pioneer regions, and amongst the poor and more illiter- 
ate classes in every country. Congregationalism is indigenous in 
New England, and nothing can be preferable, for a people homo- 
geneous in character, orderly in habits, intelligent, cultivated and 
independent in spirit, if they have been educated under it and 
attached to it. Presbyterianism is as native in New Jersey and 
Pennsylvania; and being strictly a Republican system, affili- 
ates admirably with American Institutions, and works efficient- 
ly and orderly wherever a representative government can ex- 
ist. And it is a baseless assumption, that there can be no suc- 
cessful combinations of any of the above forms of polity, and 
no new and valuable modifications and types of ecclesiasticism. 
The two things most desirable in all governments are freedom 
and stability, the possibility of combined order and progress; 
and whatever polity secures stability, order and efficiency, and at 
the same time leaves adqeuate liberty and scope for the ener- 
gies of the Church to work and advance in her proper sphere, 
is a good and lawful polity. These conditions are fulfilled in 
the characteristic ecclesiasticism of the Western Reserve, formed 
under the Plan of Union. The larger proportion of the settlers 
upon the Reserve, and of the missionaries after 1812, coming 
from New England with Congregational preferences, it would 
have been expected naturally, that when churches and ecclesi- 
astical bodies were formed, the Congregational polity would 
have been adopted. Had the pioneers possessed a little of the 

146 The Plan of Union. 

denominational zeal which some of their successors have exhib- 
ited, they certainly would have shown the Plan of Union little 
favor. Happily they had more piety than sectarianism. 

In favor of Presbyterial organizations,* were the tenacity 
of what Presbyterians there were, for their favorite system ; 
the influence of the Presbyterian ministers who almost exclu- 
sively occupied the field from 1806 to 1812 ; the remoteness 
of New England and all Congregational churches with whom 
intercourse and sympathy could be found; the intense yearning 
for society and companionship which feeble, scattered churches 
and Christians in remote and wild regions experience; and the 
fact that Presbyterian churches and Presbyteries existed con- 
tiguous to the Reserve, which exhibited a polity well adapted 
to unite and control the heterogeneous elements collected in this 

The social instinct is strongest apparently'where most denied ; 
and Christian communion is most prized by those who have 
fewest facilities for it. Moreover those who can with difficulty 
secure religious ordinances, and hear preaching, and must exert 
every capability to secure anything in the form of a church, 
are not apt to be over-particular respecting the form of polity, 
contingencies and non-essentials, of their religious institutions. 
Their religion is spirit and life. Hence, rare as charity is under 
the sun, it was not strange that the founders of the Reserve 
churches were willing to make mutual concessions, and subject 
their preferences for Paul and Apollos, to their common unity 
in Christ, and cooperate harmoniously in worshiping God, and 
sustaining christian ordinances. 

Accordingly, we find that the social marriage here consum- 

Ecclesiastical Organizations. 147 

mated, between immigrants from different" States, had its coun- 
terpart in the religious and eclesiastical liistory of the people. 

They adopted the conviction, that christians, agreeing in 
doctrine and spirit, differing only upon some trivial points of 
church polity, when planting new churches, in troublous times 
and in western forests, might, for the details of their organ- 
izations, consult their Bibles, and existing circumstances, more 
than their imported ''platforms" and "books of discipline,'^ 
and might suffer their ecclesiasticism to grow up naturally out 
of the materials, and under the formative influences, that sur- 
rounded them. To start, side by side, churches of different 
form, where there were scarcely materials adequate for a single 
church was simply impracticable. And had it been possible to 
start Presbyterian, and Congregational churches upon the same 
soil, the rivalry and sectarianism, that would probably be en- 
gendered, were not things which our pioneer fathers cared to 

By combination and charitable concession, and the harmo- 
nious cooperation of all available materials and resources, 
worship might be sustained, and churches formed. Otherwise, 
many years must pass, and the religious elements be mainly 
suffered to die out, before religious institutions could be at- 
tempted. Under these circumstances, the practicability of a 
general union of Presbyterians and Congregationalists, was 
naturaly suggested and entertained ; and the design conceived of 
forming a somewhat new and indigenous order of ecclesiasticism, 
adapted to these new settlements. There were those, also, who 
hoped that the sectarianism of older regions might not be im- 
ported into the new ; and who even dreamed that the predicted 

148 The Plan or Union. 

age of charity and harmony, when the children of God should 
"see eye to eye," might be approaching; and who were ready 
to make an experiment in favor of uniting two varieties of 
church order, so nearly affiliated. 

And strange as it may appear in these days of " school'^ and 
sectarian " conventions,'' and denominational '^ extension" pro- 
jects, in those less selfish years, two bodies no less extensive, and 
influential than the General Association of Connecticut, and 
the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church in the 
United States, entertained the hope of promoting such a union 
in the missionary fields of the west. With a self-forgetfulness 
and a regard for religion, rather than for sect, quite incompre- 
hensible to many zealous sectaries of the present day, those 
bodies recomended unity amongst christians in the new set- 
tlements, and seemed more anxious to build up Christ's King- 
dom, than their own ecclesiasticism. 

The aim and spirit of the Missionary Society of Connecticut, 
may be gathered from the following extract, from a letter ad- 
dressed, by the Trustees of that Society, to the " Inhabitants of 
the New Settlements in the Northern and Western parts of the 
United States;" dated May, 1801. 

"ICnow, we beseech you, that religion is the great concern and bus- 
iness, the dignity and happiness of man. Seek first the kingdom of 
God, and the righteousness thereof. Labor, as soon as your circum- 
stances will possibly admit, to obtain the constant regular preaching 
of the word and administration of the ordinances among you, Be as- 
sured that faith comes by hearing. Until you can obtain stated 
preaching, constantly assemble every Lords day for public worship* 
though you may not be able to obtain a preacher. Let your ablest and 
best men lead in your prayers, and read to you sermons on the most 

Ecclesiastical Organizations, 149 

interesting and important subjects. And be careful to be doers as well 
as hearers of the word, 

"Diligently teach to your children the catechism, morals and good 
things contained in the books we have sent you, pray with them abun- 
dantly — restrain them from evil practices, — set them good examples, 
and govern them well, teaching subordination to all good government. 

' ' While we are sending ovit unto you missionaries, approved among us 
as pious and faithful brethren, who, we persuade ourselves will spare 
no pains to promote your spiritual interests — we entreat you to 
receive them with the respect and kindness due to the ministers of 
Christ, and assist them in all their labors for your salvation. We send 
them fully authorized to itinerate and preach the gospel, to catechize 
your children, instruct your people, and such as have been duly or- 
dained, to administer the ordinances to the proper subjects; as there 
may be opportunity to gather and organize churches, and in general, 
to assist you in all your spiritual concerns. 

"The present is a most important time with you, and the manner in 
which you now conduct yourselves will have great and lasting influ- 
ence on the state of the new settlements ; on your present and future 
state ; and on that of your descendants. By order of the Board, 

"Abel Flint, Sect," 

That excellent society was above any petty sectarian aims 
or jealousy, and sought to extend the kingdom of Christ, not 
any particular ecclesiasticism. 

With kindred liberality and christian charity, in view of 
the mixed character of the population in many of the new 
settlements, and to prevent denominational strife and jeal- 
ousies, and the consequent neutralization of evangelizing ef- 
forts, the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church, and 
the Congregational General Association of Connecticut, in the 
year 1801, adopted and sent forth to the missionaries and mis- 
sionary churches the following 

150 The Plan of Union. 


'^ With a view to prevent alienations, and promote union and 
harmony, in those new settlements which are composed of 
inhabitants from" Presbyterian and Congregational bodies; 

"1. It is strictly enjoined on all their missionaries to the 
new settlements, to endeavor by all proper means to promote 
mutual forbearance and accommodation between those inhabi- 
tants of the new settlements, who hold the Presbyterian, and 
those who hold the Congregational, form of church government. 

"2. If in the new settlements any church of the Congre- 
gational order shall settle a minister of the Presbyterian order 
that church may, if they choose, still conduct their discpline 
according to Congregational principles, settling their difficulties 
among themselves or by a council mutually agreed upon for 
that purpose; but if any difficulty shall exist between the 
minister and the church, or any member of it, it shall be re- 
ferred to the Presbytery to which the minister shall belong, 
provided both parties agree to it ; if not to a council consisting 
of an equal number of Presbyterians and Congregationalists, 
agreed upon by both parties. 

"3. If a Presbyterian church shall settle a minister of Con- 
gregational principles, that church may still conduct their dis- 
cipline according to Presbyterian principles, excepting that if 
a difficulty arise beetween him and his church, or any member 
of it, the case shall be tried by the Association to which tbg 
said minister shall belong, provided both parties agree to it 
otherwise by a council one half Congregationalists and theotb er 
half Presbyterians, mutually agreed upon by the parties. 

Ecclesiastical Organizations. 151 

" 4. If any congregation consists partly of those who hold 
the Congregational form of discipline, and partly of those who 
hold the Presbyterian form, we recommend to both parties, 
that this be no obstruction to their uniting in one church and 
settling a minister; and that in this case the church choose a 
standing committee from the communicants of said church, 
whose business it shall be, to call to account every member of 
the church, who shall conduct himself inconsistently with the 
laws of Christianity; and to give judgment on such conduct, 
and if the person condemned by their judgment be a Presby- 
terian, he shall have leave to appeal to the Presbytery ; if a 
Congregationalist, he shall have liberty to appeal to the body 
of the male communicants of the church; in the former case 
the determination of the Presbytery shall be final, unless the 
church consent to a further appeal to the Synod, or to the 
General Assembly; and in the latter case, if the party con- 
demned shall wish for a trial by mutual council, the case shall 
be referred to such council. And provided the said standing 
committee of any church shall depute one of themselves to at- 
tend the Presbytery, he may have the same right to sit and 
act in the Presbytery, as a ruling elder of the Presbyterian 

Such is the famous '^ Plan of Union ;" and perhaps never was 
article framed in a more catholic spirit, or more perfectly adapt- 
ed to promote christian charity, and union, between the 
people of God who happen to be thrown together in a forming 
society, and yet differ in their views of what is the best method 
of conducting church order and discipline. This plan met the 
approbation of the missionaries and of the people, and soon 

152 The Plan of Union. 

went into practical and successful operation. Under it all 
antagonisms seemed to be harmonized; Presbyterian and Con- 
gregationalist, each found the essentials of his favorite polity 
combined with some of the better features of the other; and 
they two becoming one, united heart, hand, and resources, in 
building up Christ's Kingdom. One of the missionaries writes 
as follows : 

"In accordance with a resolution of the General Assembly, printed 
copies of this Plan were furnished, not only to missionaries employed 
by the General Assembly, but also to those employed by the Mission- 
ary Society of Connecticut. The missionaries receiving such instruc- 
tions, given them by the combined vrisdom of the Presbyterian 
churches and the Congregational churches of Connecticut, felt under 
obligation to put forth every consistent elfort to unite together in one 
harmonious body, those who by education, habit and principle, were 
Presbyterians, and those who on similar grounds were Congregation- 
alists. Had the missionaries pursued a diiferent course, it would have 
been considered by their employers as an act of downright rebellion, 
and a direct breach of the covenant formed between the General 
Assembly and the General Association, in the Plan of Union. By 
accepting a missionary appointment with these instructions in their 
hands, the missionaries became a party to the contract involved in the 
Plan of Union, and all the churches they formed in accordance Avith 
the principles of this Plan, became parties to the original contract. 
The missionary, with the Plan of Union in his hand and the love of 
God in his heart, would say to the scattered inhabitants of a new 
settlement, starving for the Bread of Life, Be formed into a church 
according to the terms of this contract, and yon see what the General 
Assembly and the General Association are pledged to do on their part. 
"Without hesitation the people say, We comply' ; we put our hands and 
our seals to the covenant," 

Such was the original design and such was the practical 

Ecclesiastical Organizations. 153 

effect of the Plan of Union adopted in 1801, and promulgated 
and sent forth anew in 1806. Rev. J. Seward, from whom 
we quote, continues — 

* ' On entering this field, I found this Plan in successful operation. 
Here were Rev. Messrs. Badger, Cowles, Field, Derrow and Bacon, 
educated Congregationalists, lalsoring harmoniously with Rev. Messrs. 
Wick, Boyd, Bruce, Barr, Scott, Burr and Leslie, who in principle and 
feeling were thorough-going Presbyterians. Almost all of these men 
were missionaries under the Missionary Society of Connecticut, and 
were instructed to adhere strictly to the principles of the Plan of Union. 
This they did, and went forward as Christian brethren should in such 
circumstances, forming and building up churches in accordance with 
the spirit and letter of their instructions. Churches were formed so 
as to meet the views of those who became members, whether Presby- 
terians or Congregationalists ; and the missionaries, all thinking and 
speaking the same thing on this subject, had but little difficulty in 
reconciling those who might previously have had conflicting views and 
feelings in relation to church government. The business went on 
because there was a mind to build, and not to contend. At that 
period, that is about the year 1811-12, the Presbytery of Hartford 
(since changed to Beaver) covered the whole territory of the Western 
Reserve, and without any limits to its western and northern boundaries, 
except the British dominions and the Pacific Ocean. This Presbytery 
belonged to the Synod of Pittsburg, and most of the ministers on 
the Reserve had become members of the Presbytery, and many of the 
churches, both Presbyterian and those of a mixed character, were also 
connected with the same body. Some, however, remained in an 
isolated position, not connected by any specific bond of union with 
any ecclesiastical body," 

In the formation of -churches, as also afterward of Presby- 
teries, the Plan of Union was not always adopted strictly 

154 The Plan of Union. 

according to tbe letter. The particular circumstances of the 
individual church or Presbytery often made some slight modi- 
fication necessary ; so that in strictness each body had a Plan, 
embodying the spirit and principles of the Plan recommended 
by the Assembly and Association, in its own specific forms, 
and adhering as nearly as possible to the original instrument. 
For example, the Plan of Union contemplates the existence of 
Associations, with which Congregational ministers may be 
connected, though ministering to Presbyterian churches. Such 
Associations did not exist upon the Reserve, and the Congre- 
gational ministers generally connected themselves wnth the 
Presbyteries. In forming this connection they had a right to 
expect that the spirit of the Plan of Union would be exercised 
toward them, as well as toward the Congregational churches 
received by Presbytery. From this resulted the fact that 
Congregational ministers, bringing '^ clean papers" from 
reputable Eastern Associations, were received upon their appli- 
cation in the same manner that members from one Presbytery 
were received by another. 

Hence the anomaly of Congregational ministers in the Pres- 
byteries who never formally assented to the polity and disci- 
pline of the Presbyterian church ; though their application for 
admission was a virtual assent to, or approval of, the Presby- 
terian polity. In such cases it was understood that these men 
retained their former preferences, but as matter of expediency, 
consulting the peace of the church and their own usefulness, 
they adopted the ecclesiasticism found here. That objection- 
able members sometimes came in under this practice, can not 
be denied. And on their account the whole body sufiered. 

Ecclesiastical Organizations. 155 

Such was the material, and such the Plan of organization ; 
from which resulted the ecclesiasticism of the Western Re- 
serve. In the most natural manner, and under the influence 
of a piety and spirit catholic and apostolical, in its charity and 
simplicity, the church of the Reserve grew up the legitimate, 
healthy daughter of a legitimate marriage, openly and honor- 
ably solemnized, by qualified and capable parties. 

If, after many years, schismatics came in to disturb the 
peaceful and happy family, which this union produced, and 
awakened jealousies, strife, and partial divorce, they only did 
what schismatics and disorganizers have ever done, in like 


iVs a specimen of the manner of organizing churches adopted 
by the early missionaries, and of the constitutions and creeds 
upon which the churches were based, the following from the 
records of the Hudson church, organized in 1802 by Mr. Bad- 
ger, is here subjoined. Readers are aware that, in the words 
of Rev. J. Seward, "from time immemorial it has been the 
practice of Congregational churches, as it has also of many 
Presbyterian churches, to have a brief summary of Christian 
docttine and practice, to which, members admitted into the 
church, should publicly give their assent.'^ Such was the use 
and design of the " Confession of Faith '^ adopted by the 
Churches of the Reserve. 

A somewhat particular account of the Hudson church is 
here introduced, as being instructive, in a historical point of 
view, in several particulars. 

156 The Plan of Union. 

first congregational church in hudson : organized 

SEPT. 4, 1802. 

"A number of persons in this town, -who liad^formerly been members 
of churches, part in Goshen, Conn., and part in Bloomfield, N. Y., met 
for the purpose of taking some regular steps toward being formed into 
a church. Rev. Joseph Badger, missionary from the Missionary 
Society of Connecticut, presiding as moderator, opened the meeting 
with prayer. A system of doctrines was then attended to, with a 
view to their being adopted as Articles of Faith. 

**Each individual having given his particular assent to the said 
system of doctrines, a Covenant was read and considered, which being 
also approved, after due consideration, there was an examination of 
each person respecting the gi'ound and evidences of his hope. 

"The next day, after a due and solemn consideration of the duty and 
importance of forming a church in this place, the following persons 
presented themselves to be constituted a church of Christ, viz : — 
Stephen and Mary Thompson, David Hudson, Abraham and Susannah 
Thompson, Stephen and Abigail Thompson, George and Almira Kil- 
bourne, Heman and Eunice Oviatt, Amos Lusk and Hannah Lyndley, 
(the two latter from Bloomfield, N. Y, ; the rest from Goshen, Conn.) 

"A system of Faith was then read, to which they gave their consent. 
They were then led to the solemn adoption of a Covenant, in which 
they engaged to give up themselves to keep and walk in all the ordi- 
nances of the Gospel of Christ. They were then declared to be a 
church of Christ, commended to His blessing, and charged solemnly 
to keep covenant and walk worthy of the followers of the Lord Jesus, 
the Head of the church." 


You believe the articles of the Christian religion as contained in the 
Holy Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments, and as contained 
essentially in the Confession of Faith of the Presbyterian Chiu-ch in 

Ecclesiastical Organizations. 157 

America. Particularly you believe the existence of one living and 
true God, self-existent, infinite in power, wisdom, and holiness ; exist- 
ing three persons in one God-head, Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, the 
great Creator, Governor, and Redeemer of the world. 

You believe that God made man in His own moral image, consist- 
ing in knowledge, righteousness, and holiness. But that man, by his 
disobedience, has fallen from that holy and happy state and now is 
sunk in a state of sin and misery, out of which he can not recover 
himself, and in which he might have been justly left of God forever. 

You believe that God, out of His mere goodness, has opened a new 
way of life to a fallen, guilty world, by the mediation of His Son 
Jesus Christ, as revealed to us in the Scriptures, given by the inspira- 
tion of the Holy Spirit. That by his death and sufferings He has 
made a sufficient atonement for sin, thereby honoring the law of God, 
and opening a way for the consistent exercise of Divine grace. That 
all are invited, through Him, to trust in God and be savad, and that 
there is no salvation in any other way. 

You believe that, notwithstanding mankind are dead in trespasses 
and sins, and by nature enemies to God, yet it is the piirpose of a holy 
God, according to the eternal election of grace, of His sovereign 
unmerited mercy toward mankind, to make up of them a holy, 
heavenly kingdom. That all its members must be regenerated by the 
special influences of the Holy Spirit, and that all such will be kept by 
the grace of God unto eternal life. 

You believe that a Christian church ought to be composed of visible 
Christians who, by a profession of their faith in Christ, and a life 
agreeable to the precepts of the Gospel, give reasonable evidence, in 
the judgment of charity of being real saints. 

You believe in the divine appointment of church oflBcers, the ordi- 
nances of Baptism and the Lord's Supper, and the Christian Sabbath. 

You believe it to be the revealed purpose of God hereafter to raise 
His church from its present depressed state, and to give His people 
rest and prosperity for a thousand years, when the Jews shall own the 
Messiah, and all nations shall know the Lord. 

158 The Plan of Union. 

You believe that, althougli we are justified by faith, and saved by free 
grace, yet the moral law, as a rule of life, remains in full force to 
believers, so that perfect holiness of heart and life is their duty ; nor 
doth the Gospel ot free grace countenance them in living in any sin. 

You believe the doctrine of the general resurrection of the dead, 
and the judgment of the world by Christ Jesus, who will revive all 
true believers to eternal life, while the wicked and impenitent shall 
go away into everlasting punishment. 

The above remained as the basis of the Hudson church until 
1819, when the church adopted the Covenant and Articles of 
Faith and of Practice recommended by Grand Kiver Presby- 
tery.* The Covenant and Articles of Practice first adopted 
differed but slightly from those recommended by the Presbytery. 

The church was received under the care of the Presbytery 
in 18 1 5, shortly before the installation of Eev. Wm. Hanford 
as its Pastor. 

In 1826, the article requiring the church to have *' a Stand- 
ing Committee, chosen from among their number, consisting of 
not less than two and not more than seven, whose duty it shall 
be to manage the prudential concerns of the church," was by 
vote of the church erased from its regulations. In 1835, the 
Presbytery of Portage "Resolved, that the request of the 
church in Hudson be granted, and the relation subsisting 
between the Presbytery and said church is, at their repeated 
solicitation, hereby dissolved." 

Since its secession from the Presbytery the church has been 
repeatedly distracted, and at one time rent asunder. 

The form, of the particular church organized, was, of course, 

♦ See Grand Rivr Presbytery. 

Ecclesiastical Organizations. 169 

in each case, somewhat modified by the ecclesiastical prefer- 
ences of the minister who organized it, and the prevailing 
sentiment of the majority of the people. Hence some were 
more strictly Presbyterial, and others more purely Congrega- 
tional, in polity. 

All were more or less Republican in form, and could easily 
come into the Plan of Union, by slight modifications. 

The churches formed on a basis similar to the above, 
increased in strength and numbers, enjoying peace and the 
favor of God and man, until they became numerous enough to 
feel the need of ecclesiastical bodies of their own. As inti- 
mated above, many of them stood as yet independent, but felt 
the need of a connecting bond between themselves. Others 
were connected with the Hartford Presbytery. 



Says the Rev. J. Seward, '^ About the year 1812 — 13, 
the question was agitated of an ecclesiastical organization, for 
the Western Reserve. Some of the churches (church mem- 
bers ?) having been trained up in the School of Congregational- 
ism, were desirous of having an Association foftned on strictly 
Congregational principles. But the Ministers, most of whom 
were still missionaries, felt themselves bound by their instruc- 
tions to endeavor to promote harmony between Presbyterians 
and Congregationalists ; and they well knew that the formation 
of a Congregational association, instead of promoting harmony, 
would immediately produce discord, and separate those who had 
hitherto acted in concert, and would in some instances split the 
feeble churches asunder. 

<'The anxious inquiry, ^ what shall be done?^ went round, 
among the ministers and churches on the Reserve ; was pro- 
pounded to our fathers and brethren in the Presbytery of 
Hartford, the Synod of Pittsburg, the general Assembly, and 


Organization of Presbyteries. 161 

in the Congregational Churches of New England. It was a 
subject of extensive and protracted consultation. After much 
deliberation, consultation, and prayer for divine guidance, it 
was concluded to propose the organization of a Presbytery in 
accordance with the principles of the Plan of Union. In this 
proposition it was contemplated that the ministers should be 
subject to the rules and discipline of the Presbyterian Church 
without exception ; but that the churches should enjoy the 
immunities guarantied to them by the Plan of Union. 

Agreeably to this conclusion, the Presbytery of Hartford, 
at the meeting of the Synod of Pittsburg, in October 1814, 
presented the request, that the Presbytery might be divided, 
and a new one erected, to be known by the name of the Pres- 
bytery of Grand River ; to include the whole of the Western 
Reserve, with the exception of churches in six townships in 
the south-east corner, and with undefined limits on the west. 
At the time the Presbytery of Hartford presented this re- 
quest, that body was very much under the influence of the 
Rev. Wm. Wick, of Youngstown, and the Rev. T. E. Hughes, 
of Greensburg ; and these men were very familiar with the 
churches and ministers on the Reserve at that time, and well 
understood the views and feelings and habits that were then 
prevailing. In full view of these facts and circumstances, they, 
with their brethren asked the Synod to divide the Presbytery, 
with the explicit understanding that the new Presbytery was 
to be organized, so far as the churches were concerned, in ac- 
cordance with the principles of the Plan of Union. 

The Synod of Pittsburg in compliance with this request, 
directed the division to be made, and ordered the new Presby- 

162 The Plan of Union. 

tery to meet and organize at Euclid, in the month of Novem- 
ber, of the same year." 

As the organization of Grand River Presbytery was the germ 
out of which grew the entire Presbyterial ecclesiasticism of the 
Western Reserve, a more particular account of the circum- 
stances attending it may be interesting. 

Having given above Mr. Seward's version of the subject, he 
being of Congregational origin and preferences, yet a friend 
and supporter of the Plan of Union, I will also introduce an 
account of the same subject extracted from the autobiography 
of Rev. Thomas Barr, a decided Presbyterian. Mr. Barr, 
wrote this some years after leaving the Reserve, and after 
having been employed as an agent of the Presbyterian Mission- 
ary Society, and being devotedly attached to the Old School 
branch of the Presbyterian Church. The reader will perceive 
that he had, at this time, little sympathy with the Plan of 
Union, and little patience with Congregationalism. His view 
may serve to show those congregational brethren who com- 
plain of the oppression of Presbyterianism, that complaints 
were not all on one side. When discontent and jealousies arise, 
those who have least reason to complain, are often loudest in 
their outcries. Mr Barr says. 

* * It may be intef esting and useful, to give a notcie of the origin 
of that anomalous part of the Presbyterian Church, the Western 
Reserve Synod. It sprang from the Grand River Presbytery ; and 
this latter was the result of much curious yet serious deliberation and 
compromise. The compromise was indeed mainly at the expense of 
Presbyterianism ; but not then so well seen as since. The Reserve 
was mainly settled by New Englanders. These, so far as they were 

Organization of Presbyteries. 1G3 

professers of religion, were generally Congregationalists, especially for 
the first four or five years. Wherever these formed churches they did 
it either upon pure Congregational principles, or what was called the 
mixed plan, which was merely a slight modification. And where there 
were no real Presbyterians among them, as was the case in nine tenths, 
even these churches were governed as really upon Congregational 
principles as any others. The truth is that at the time of constituting 
the Grand River Presbytery, I do not recollect a single church within 
its limits, that was truly Presbyterian and so governed, except the 
chm-ch of Euclid. There were perhaps one or two others organized 
with elders, but in such a manner as was merely nominal. The min- 
isters within the limits, were all Congregationalists by education, habit 
and choice, excepting Mr. Leslie and myself; and Mr. Leslie had be- 
come so enamored of Congregationalism that he was prepared to have 
given up Presbyterianisra. There had been several Installations by 
ecclesiastical counsels, in which I had by invitation taken part. 

" It was at the installation of Mr. Seward in Aurora, that the first 
step was taken towSrd forming an ecclesiastical body distinct from the 
Hartford Presbytery, of which Mr. Leslie and myself were members. 
We were both present, as were Messrs. Cowles, Badger and Seward, 
and a number of lay delegates. After the Installation services, the 
members of the council conferred on the subject of forming some eccle- 
siastical association. Mr. Badger and Mr. Leslie, with most of the 
delegates were at once for forming an Association on purely Congre- 
gational principles, to be wholly disconnected with the Presbyterian 
church, excepting by friendly correspondence. They anticipated a con- 
nection with the Congregationalists at Marietta and vicinity. Upon 
hearing these proposals, I felt somewhat grieved and distressed. I had 
been flattering myself that all these good brethern, now in this com- 
paratively remote situation, as to the associations of New England ; 
and on the other hand, near to that large section of the Presbyterian 
church, under the jurisdiction of the Pittsburg Synod ; would feel 
disposed to fall in with the Presbyterian forms and be one with them. 
This I felt then entitled to hope for from the " Plan of Union" already 

164 The Plan of Union. 

adopted with au imposing aspect, as also the frequent encomiums 
passed by intelligent Congregationalists upon Presbyterianism. I was 
not much acquainted with modes and forms of church government and 
discipline, still I was so decided in my Presbyterian preferences 
that circumstanced as I was, I had no thought of yielding them. I 
was then at the extreme north-west frontier. If these brethren formed 
an association in this region, it would separate me ecclesiastically from 
them, and keep me an isolated Presbyterian, connected with a Presby- 
tery (and to remain so), to none of whose meetings could I expect to 
be nearer then 60 or 80 miles, I had labored in these churches, scat- 
tered in the woods, some two or three years, in concert with these breth- 
ren, and that with much cordiality. We felt as brethren, our work 
was one, ' to feed the flock of God.' It seemed too that should this 
proposed measure go forward, it would mar the glory of religion in 
the eyes of many, and blight the opening prospects of halcyon days 
just rising in the chxirch. 

"It was owing to these views and feelings that I earnestly opposed 
the measure. And I have reason to believe it was owing to my 
opposition that it was not adopted on the spot. After my earnest plea 
against it, Messrs Cowles and Seward, who had hitherto said but little, 
seemed to demur. 1 believe their sympathies for my situation were 
awakened, and had much influence upon their minds. We all hesitated. 
Another meeting, and afterwards several others were appointed, to de- 
liberate, bofore we came to any conclusion." 

In reading this account we cannot help reflecting how natu- 
ral it would have been for Mr. Barr and his church, finding 
themselves alone in their preferences, to have yielded to the 
others, and assisted to organize an association. But this seemed 
to him an impossibility ; and the rest, with their missionary 
instructions and Plan of Union before them, felt bound to seek 
unity and strike a compromise. Which, with true christian 
magnanimity, they reluctantly did. Mr. Barr proceeds : 

Organization op Presbyteries. 165 

*' At last something "svas shaped, to which we affixed the name of 
"The Consociated Presbytery of New Connecticut." This was laid 
before the Synod of Pittsburg for their sanction ; but the very name 
gave alarm, if not offense to some. On this account, as also because 
its features, as well as name, were quite unpresbyterial, as was 
thought. Synod refused to recognize such a thing. The matter lay 
over a year or more. After more conferences, we agreed, on certain 
conditions, to apply to the Synod of Pittsburg, to be set off from the 
Hartford Presbytery to be known by the name of the Grand River 
Presbytery. In our conditions of compromise amongst ourselves, there 
were articles of faith drawn up to be used by the churches, but no 
distinct recognition of the Confession of Faith, nor of the forms of 
government of the Presbyterian church. Ministers were to be answer- 
able to Presbytery. Calls for settlement did not pass through the 
Presbytery to the candidate, but were, according to Congregational 
usage, put by the society directly into the hands of the candidate, 
and afterwards submitted to Presbytery, previous to ordination or in- 
stallation. "While I resided there, no minister of Congregational origin 
was asked to assent to the formularies of our Confession of Faith. 
The churches that chose to connect themselves with Presbytery had 
the privilege of representation by lay delegates, which lay delegates 
had all the privileges and powers of an Elder. The only particular 
in which the Presbytery had any control over the churches, was that 
they were not to put a call into the hands of a candidate for settle- 
ment unless he were approved in some way by the Presbytery ; and 
in cases of difficulty where the church could not decide, instead of 
referring the case to a council, the Congregational course, it must 
be referred to the Presbytery, and their decision be final and au- 
thoritative (further than a Presbytery they had no wish to go). It 
was with great difficulty that this last point could be got inserted in 
the condition. I thought for awhile we should here split. At last it 
was agreed on, but on account of this article the church in Tallmadge, 
much the largest then on the Reserve, refused to connect with the 
Presbytery all the time that I remained in that region. The church 

166 The Plan of Union. 

of Hudson, and perhaps some others upon uniting, reserved the right 
of withdrawing on this account, if they should afterwards feel dis- 
posed. Such was the degree, slight indeed, of Presbyterianism 
engrafted upon the Congregational stock ; with the delusive hope of 
myself and others, that by and by, the whole would become a real 
Presbyterian tree, bearing fruit accordingly. In this I was miser- 
ably disappointed. 

*' It may seem to some, perhaps, that I assume an undue importance 
to my own particular agency in bringing about this an-angement. 
What I did at the time, I did in the simplicity of my heart, believ- 
ing that I was doing God's service ; and for a season I felt pleased 
that my desires so far had succeeded. But my self-gratulation has long 
since changed into deep regret, and shame, for my almost infatuated 
mistake. I only remained about five years on the Reserve, after the 
Grand River Presbytery was formed, but in this space of time, I be- 
gan to discover that name things as you will, the inherent properties 
remain the same. Congregationalism, wrap it up as you may, is Con- 
gregationalism still." (Too true, of that and every other ism, as bitter 
experience has often proved !) ''Not that I intend any disparagement 
to Congregationalism, in itself considered ; it is only the folly and ab- 
surdity of attempting to make real Congregationalism and real Pres- 
byterianism coalesce in one ecclesiastical body, so as to move harmo- 
niously, that I wish to expose." 

" Real Presbyterianism and real Congregationalism'* were 
not sought by the Plan of Union ; but such a modification of 
each as should produce a better union, in which each should 
enjoy its own essentials, with the other's benefits and coopera- 
tion. We see here the spirit and arguments that produced the 
excision of '37. Mr. Barr admits that the arrangement 
was made with the most fraternal intentions, and disin- 
terested purpose, by all parties, and that, '' as to doctrine, there 
was with us hardly a perceptible difference ;" which he prove 

Organization of Presbyteries. 167 

by comparing with the confession of Faith, a Summary of 
Doctrine published by the Connecticut Missionary Society, for 
the use of the new settlements, and largely distributed on the 
Reserve by the Missionaries. His declaration after the com- 
parison, is, that " this Summary is essentially the same with 
that in the Confession of Faith and Catechisms.'^ And still 
further, he acknowledges that under the arrangement entered 
into, '' Congregationalism and Presbyterianism" did " coalesce 
and work harmoniously in the same ecclesiastical body'' so 
long as the arrangement was let alone, and sectarianism was 
surpassed by christian charity. He proceeds : 

"With so near an agreement (if indeed there was a difference) in 
doctrine, and acquiescence on both sides in our anomalous Presbytery, 
we moved on in much harmony. And I would here bear testimony to 
the piety, knowledge, zeal, fidelity and other excellent qualities, of 
my early Congregational associates. The memory of many seasons 
of ministerial and Christian fellowship is deeply impressed on my heart. 
We labored as for God, to turn the wilderness into a fruitful field. Our 
labor was not in vain in the Lord. We planted, we watered, and most 
of those brethren lived to see an abundant increase given of God. 
Without vanity, or injustice to others, I may say that in the period of 
our Association (previous to 1820) the germ was planted of what has 
since in that region so beautifully and usefully expanded itself in 
moral, religious, and literary fruits. 

'* Yet, notwithstanding the harmony and affectionate regard which 
subsisted between us," continues Mr. B., "as their members were 
yearly increasing by more Congregational ministers coming, while I 
remained the only real Presbyterian, I could not but perceive with 
painful regrets, that instead of approximating more nearly to Presby- 
terianism, there was more and more made manifest a determination 
not to recede any further from Congregationalism. This being the 

168 The Plan of Union. 

case, and having still to labor much as a missionary, with some 
discouragements in the congregation, all, together, influenced me to 
think of a removal to a diff"erent section of the country." 

The sum of the matter is, that Mr. B. entered the Plan of 
Union or Compromise, not as a finality, but hoping, one against 
many, eventually to bring pure Presbyterianism out of it. In 
this, of course, he was disappointed. He was not indeed a 
man for compromises ; nor could he be easily turned from any 
opinion or purpose. Honoring and admiring the man, we can 
but wish that his denominationalism had been cast in a larger 

The question is naturally suggested here, how far the Synod 
of Pittsburg and the General Assembly, shared the experience 
and disappointment of Mr. Barr ? Could such disappontment 
have had anything to do with the excision that followed ? 

As stated above, the Synod of Pittsburg granted the peti. 
tion to divide the Hartford Presbytery, and appointed a meet- 
ing at Euclid, on the second Tuesday of November, 1814. 
The members of Hartford Presbytery set off to constitute the 
new Presbytery, were Rev. Messrs. Joseph Badger, Giles H. 
Cowles, and Thomas Barr. Mr. Badger was appointed to 
preach at the opening of the first meeting, and preside until a 
moderator should be chosen. 

From the records of that meeting, the following is extracted : 

Euclid, November 8, 1814. 
Presbytery of Grand River met according to appointment of Synod 
and was opened with prayer by the Moderator. 
Present: Kev. .Joseph Badger, Moderator. 
Rev. Giles H. Cowles, 

Organization op Presbyteries. 169 

Rev. Thomas Bare, 

Elder J. Reuble, from the church in Euclid, 

Deacon M. Cook, from the church in Burton. 

Rev. Messrs. Simeon Woodruff and William Hanford being present, 
were invited to sit as corresponding members. 

Rev. J. Badger was chosen Moderator, and Rev. G. H. Cowles 

Mr.Cowles being in a feeble state of health, requested an Assistant 
Scribe, which was granted, and Mr. Hanford was appointed. 

Presbytery proceeded to discuss and adopt the following regulations 
and by-laws : 


Art. 1. The Presbytery shall meet statedly on the first Tuesday of 
February and on the fourth Tuesday of August. 

2. A Moderator, Scribe, Register and Standing Committee shall be 
chosen annually by ballot, who shall hold their ofl&ces until others are 
chosen to supply their places. 

3. The moderator may, on the application of one minister or of one 
church, call a special meeting of the Presbytery, and on the applica- 
tion of two ministers, it shall be his duty to call such meeting, speci- 
fying in his letters of notification the particular business for which 
the meeting is called, and no business but what is thus specified shall 
be finally decided at said meeting ; and when such special meeting is 
called, on the application of any church or individual, that church or 
individual shall be at the trouble of communicating the notification to 
the several members and churches of the Presbytery ; and this notifi- 
cation shall be given to each minister and church at least ten days 
before the time appointed for such meeting. 

4. All licensing of candidates, ordinations, installations and dismis- 
sions of ministers in churches belonging to this body, shall be by this 

5. The standing committee shall consist of five ministers, whose 

170 ThePlanofUnion. 

duty it shall be to examine the credentials of ministers and licentiates 
•who apply for the approbation of this Presbytery during its recess ; 
and on receiving satisfaction respecting their qualification to preach 
the Gospel, shall, by certificate, recommend them to the churches ; 
which recommendation shall extend to the next meeting of Pres- 

6. No church belonging to this body shall give a call for settlement 
to any candidate, until he shall have been approved by this Presby- 
tery, or by one or more of their standing committee. 

7. Every church belonging to this Presbytery, shall be represented 
at the meetings of the Presbytery, 

8. Individual churches or members belonging to this Presbytery, 
may adopt either the Congregational or Presbyterian mode of govern- 
ment and discipline. 

9. When those churches which adopt the Congi-egational mode of 
government and discipline, have decided on any case and either party 
is aggrieved, appeal may be made to the Presbytery, and their deci- 
Bion shall be final. 

(In 1817 this article was amended as follows:) — When those 
churches which adopt the Congregational mode of government and 
discipline, have decided on any case, and either party is aggrieved, 
appeal may be made to Presbytery, whose authority extends only to 
the churches and not to individual members. But no further appeals 
shall be allowed. 

10. When any minister proposes to join this Presbytery, it shall be 
the duty of the Presbytery to satisfy themselves with regard to his 
religious sentiments and conduct, and admit or reject as they shall 
deem expedient; the Presbytery shall also satisfy themselves with 
respect to the religious sentiments and Christian practice of every 
church before its admission into this body. 

11. At each meeting, the Presbytery shall attend to any case of 
importance that may be proposed by members wanting light thereon. 
It shall also be the duty of each minister and delegate, at the aimual 

Organization op Presbyi^eries* 171 

meeting in February, to give an account of the state of religion within 
the respective chui-ches which they represent ; particularly with re- 
gard to revivals of I'eligion, religious instruction of children, observ- 
ance of the Sabbath, and attendance on public worship. There shall 
also be at each stated meeting one exercise, which shall be subject to 
the friendly remarks of the Presbytery, for the particular benefit of 
the speaker, who, with his second, shall be appointed at the meeting 
next preceding that at which he is to preach. Also, at each stated 
meeting, there shall be one or more theological questions or passages 
of Scripture proposed for discussion at the ensuing meeting. 

12. Every Church, at the annual meeti«g in February, shall exhibit 
the records of their annual proceedings to this Presbytery, for exam- 

13, Every meeting of the Presbytery, shall be opened and closed 
with prayer. 

14. At every meeting of Presbytery, at least half an hour shall be 
set apart for social prayer and pi*aise. 

15. These regulations shall be read at each annual meeting. 

16, Licentiates belonging to the Presbytery shall be answerable to 
the Presbytery for their preaching and moral conduct, 

17, When a licentiate belonging to this Presbytery wishes to itin- 
erate without the bounds of this Presbytery, he shall apply for per- 
mission to the Presbytery, or in its recess to the standing committee ; 
and when permission shall be given, it shall specify the time of ab- 
sence, and be signed by the moderator, or by two of the standing 
committee, who shall communicate the same to the Register, to be re- 

18, When such licentiate shall itinerate within the limits of any 
other Presbytery, or within those of an association, he shall be di- 
rected to exhibit his credentials to them, or to the standing committee, 
in order to receive a letter of recommendation to the churches within 
their limits. 

19. Where a licentiate belonging to this Presbytery, wishes to put 

172 The Plan o» Union. 

himself under the care of another Presbytery, or of an association, 
he shall apply for a dismission from this body, and for a recommend- 
ation to such particular Presbytery or association. 

20. All additions to, or alterations of, these regulations, shall be 
proposed at a stated meeting at least four months before such addi- 
tions or alterations are adopted ; and they shall not be adopted with- 
out the concurrence of two-thirds of the members present. 

The following resolution was adopted : 

"Resolred, That delegates from churches, who wish to unite with 
this Presbytery, be requested toj^bring the Confession of Faith of said 
churches to the next stated meeting." 

Churches and ministers were only admitted when their 
creed and practice appeared to be sound. 

Rev. S. ^Woodruff was examined and admitted to member- 
ship at this meeting of Presbytery. We shalPsee an encour- 
aging growth as we trace the history of this infant body. 

Burton, Feb. 14th, 1815. 
The Committee appointed by the last Presbytery to draft a Confes- 
»ion of Faith, reported. The Confession which they reported, after 
being amended, was adopted by the Presbytery. 


1. You believe in one God, the Creator, Preserver and Governor of 
the^Universe ; that he is a Being of infinite wisdom, power, justice, 
holiness and truth, the self-existent, independent, goodness and un- 
changeable fountain of all good. 

2. You believe that the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments 
were given by inspiration of God ; that they contain a complete and 
harmonious system of divine truth, and are the only rule of religious 
faith and practice. 

Organization or Presbyteries. 173 

3. You believe that there are three persons in the Godhead, the 
Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost ; that these three are in essence 
one, and in all divine attributes equal. 

4. You believe that God governs all things according to his eternal 
and infinitely wise purpose, so as to render them conducive to his own 
glory and the greatest good of the universe ; and in such a manner as 
not to diminish his hatred of sin, the liberty of man, or the import- 
ance of the use of means. 

5. You believe that God at first created man in his own moral im- 
age, consisting in righteousness and true holiness ; that being left to 
the freedom of his own will, he fell from that holy and happy state, 
by sinning against God ; that since the fall of Adam, all mankind come 
into the world destitute of holiness. 

6. You believe that in reference to the fall of man, God did from 
eternity appoint his only and well beloved Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, 
to make atonement for sin, and thus provide for the consistent be- 
stowment of pardon on all those that repent and believe the Gospel ; 
you believe that as all men in their natural condition reject Christ, 
God, therefore, did from eternity choose some of the human race to 
salvation, through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth ; 
and that all those whom he has thus chosen, he will renew and sanc- 
tify in this life, and keep them by his power through faith unto sal- 

7. You believe that Christians are justified freely by grace through 
faith in Christ ; and that though they are thus freely justified, still 
the Law of God as a rule of duty, remains in full force, and they 
are under obligation perfectly to obey it. 

8. You believe that personal holiness is a certain effect of the re- 
newing operations of the Holy Spirit, and affords the consciences of 
believers the only scriptural evidence of their justification and title to 
a heavenly inheritance. 

9. You believe that all are under solemn obligations to repent and 


174 The Plan of Union. 

believe, and that therefore every sinner is inexcusable for impenitence 
and unbelief. 

10. You believe that the visible Church of Christ consists of visible 
saints who publicly profess their faith in him ; and that baptised chil- 
dren so belong to the church as to be under its care, instruction and 

11. You believe in the divine appointment of the Christian Sabbath, 
and of the Sacraments of the New Testament, Baptism and the Lord'a 
Supper, which Christians aie under solemn obligations duly to ob- 
serve ; and that believing parents are bound to dedicate their chil- 
dren to God in Baptism, and to train them up in the nurture and 
admonition of the Lord. 

12. You believe that the soul is immortal, and that at the last day 
Christ will raise the dead and judge the world in righteousness ; that 
all the finally impenitent will go away into endless punishment, and 
the righteous be received to heaven to enjoy eternal felicity. 


You, viewing yourselves subjects of special divine grace, do now in 
the presence of "God, angels and men, renounce the service of sin, and 
avouch the Lord Jehovah to be j-our God and eternal portion, the 
Lord Jesus Christ to be your only Saviour, and the Holy Ghost to be 
your Sanctifier and Comforter. 

You promise to take God's holy Word for your directory, and by 
divine assistance to comply with all its injunctions. You solemnly 
engage duly to regard all the instituted ordinances of the Gospel. 
You promise daily to attend secret prayer ; statedly to attend on the 
Lord's Supper ; to observe the first day of the week as the Christian 
Sabbath ; not to allow yourselves to be employed on that day in un- 
necessary worldly business or conversation, but to devote your time to 
the public and private exercises of religion, to the perusal of the Bible 
and such other books as are calculated to promote spiritual improve- 

Organization of Presbyteries. 175 

ment. You, who are heads of families, promise daily to maintain fam- 
ily religion, by prayer and reading the Word of God ; seasonably to 
dedicate your children to God in Baptism, to educate, govern and re- 
strain from vicious practices and company all under your care. 

You severally promise to refrain from unnecessarily mingling in the 
society of the vicious and from vain conversation ; and finally to 
watch over your brethren in the church, and, if necessary, to reprove 
them with Christian meekness ; to submit yourselves to the watch and 
and discipline of this church, endeavoring in all things to promote its 
spiritual interest ; and to walk worthy of the vocation wherewith you 
are called, so as to give no just occasion of offense to any. 

Of course the above Confession and Covenant were only re- 
commended to the churches for their use; but the recommend- 
ation was generally complied with, and hence these may be 
taken as a fair specimen of the earlier creeds and covenants 
of the churches on the Reserve. 

Art. 1. This Church adopt the regulations proposed by the General 
Assembly of the Presbyterian Church in America, and approved by 
the General Association of Connecticut, June 16, 1801, for the promo- 
tion of union and harmony among the churches in new settlements. 

2. (For Congregational Churches.) This church shall have a stand- 
ing committee chosen from their members, consisting of not less than 
two and not more than seven, whose duty it shall be to take cogni- 
zance of the disorderly conduct of members, and to labor to promote 
the spiritual interests of the church. 

3. All persons applying for admission to this church, either by let- 
ter or otherwise, shall be examined by the officers of the church, all 
the members of which shall consider it their duty to attend, and to 
ask such questions as they think necessary. If candidates give sat- 

176 The Plan of Union. 

isfactory evidence to the church of their Christian character, they 
shall in ordinary cases be publicly propounded two weeks before their 

4. This church consider it to be their duty not to admit members of 
distant churches residing in this vicinity to occasional communion, in 
ordinary cases, for a longer period than one year. 

5. This church consider it the duty of male heads of families, and, 
when circumstances do not forbid, of those who are females, daily to 
read the Scriptures and pray in their families. They also recommend 

t to all heads of families, that singing praises to God be considered 
as a part of family worship. 

6. This church consider it an important duty that heads of families 
instruct and govern their children, and all under their care, agreea- 
bly to the Word of God, endeavoring to restrain them from evil prac- 
tices and from vicious company ; and directing them by parental au- 
thority to attend catechetical lectures appointed by the pastor or 
church whenever circumstances will permit. 

7. This church consider it their duty to pay special attention to 
their baptized children ; and that parents and others who are mem- 
bers of this church, having the more immediate care of such children, 
shall be accountable to the church for their religious instruction and 
government, so long as they continue members of their families 

for any evident neglect of religious instruction or government, shall 
be as liable to discipline as for any other offense whatever. 

8. This church consider the collecting of hay or grain on the Sab- 
bath, attending to any part of the business of making pugar, the vis- 
iting of friends except in cases of sickness, .and the prosecution of 
j ourneys on that day, without special necessity, a violation of Chris- 
tian duty. 


A few pages of extracts from the minutes of the Presbytery, 
may serve to exhibit its practical workings, for a few years. 

Organization of Presbyteries. 177 

The first report of the new Presbytery, to the General AflBOm- 
bly, was exhibited May 1815. 

They reported that they consisted of seven members and had under 
their care eight congregations. The ministers were Messrs. Badger, 
Cowles, Barr, Seward, Coe, Woodruff and Hanford. 

Churches — Austinburg and Morgan, Euclid, Aurora, Hudson, 
Mantua, Nelson, Burton, and Rootstown. Mr. Coe preached at Ver- 
non, Hartford and Kinsman, and Mr. Woodruff at Talmadge, to 
churches not then connected with Presbytery. The membership of 
the churches at this time, connected with Presbytery, numbered 239 ; 
the baptisms for the year were 44 infants. 

The next year. May, 1816, the Presbytery reported to the General 
Assembly : that they consisted of 9 members, and had under their 
care 15 congregations. The ministers added were Rev. Messrs. Leslie 
and Humphrey. Alvan Coe was taken under the care of Presbytery, 
as a candidate for the ministry. The added churches were Harpers- 
field, Talmadge, Vernon, Sharon, Painesville, Hamden, Greene and 
Johnston ; communicants, 395 ; baptisms, 4 adults, 91 infants. Dur- 
ing the year, the Presbytery had installed Rev. Mr. Hanford, at Hud- 
son, and Rev. Mr. Humphrey, at Burton. 

June 11, 1816. In view of the great dearth both in temporal and 
spiritual things, the Presbytery appointed a day of fasting, humilia- 
tion and prayer. 

At the same meeting, dissertations were read on the following ques- 
tions : — First, Is it sinful to attend balls ? Second, Ought professors 
of religion to be disciplined for attending balls ? Third, Ought pro- 
fessors of religion to be disciplined for allowing their children to at- 
tend balls ? Presbytery decided the questions in the afl&rmative ; the 
first two unanimously, and the last by a large majority. 

The question. Is it the duty of a church to call to account commu- 
nicants, who absent themselves from the communion when able to at- 
tend ? was discussed and decided in the affirmative. 

178 The Plan OF Union . 

At almost all the meetings of Presbytery, dissertations were read, 
by previous appointment, on topics of doctrinal or practical interest ; 
e. g., in addition to the above, the following questions were written 
upon : — What is the true ground of a sinner's obligation to repent ? 
In what relation do baptized ehildren stand to the church ? What 
was the covenant of which circumcision was the seal ? Can a Chris- 
tian consistently marry a person openly vicious ? 

August 22, 1816. Resolved, That it be recommended to all the 
ministers and churches belonging to this body, to call their baptized 
children together for special instruction and prayer, at least as often 
as a lecture preparatory to the Lord's Supper shall be delivered. 

February 12, 1817. Resolved, to take measures to form a Society 
for the education of indigent, pious, young men for the ministry, with- 
in the limits of this Presbytery, and that a committee be appointed to 
report on the subject. Rev. Messrs. Cowles and Pitkin and Deacon S. 
Mills, were appointed. The committee reported favorably, and a con- 
stitution drawn up by ,them was adopted. 

May, 1817. The Presbytery report that they consist of nine mem- 
bers and twenty congregations, and one licentiate. Rev. A. Coe. 

The new churches were, Williamsfield, Dover, Madison, Kingsville 
and Ashtabula, Brecksville and Braceville. Thirteen out of the 20 
were reported vacant. 

The membership now numbered 599 ; baptisms for the year, adults, 
35; infants, IGO. 

Burton, June 10, 1817. Rev, Alvan Coe was ordained an evangel- 
ist. Mr. Coe was appointed to labor as a missionary west of the 

September 24, 1817. Presbytery met and installed Rev. J. Treat 
as pastor of the church in Sharon. 

July 6, 1818. Installed Rer. Amasa Loomis Pastor over the church 
in Painesville. 

Organization or Presbyteries. 179 


Presbytery consist of twelve members and twenty-five congrega- 
tions. Ministers added last year, Rev. Messrs. Pitkin, Treat, and A . 
Coe. Churches added, Bristol and Bloomfield, Streetsborough, Stowe 
and Harrisville, and Number 5, 14th Range. Members, G52. 

August 18, 1818. Voted to request the Synod of Pittsburgh to 
annex to this Presbytery the townships Nos. 3 and 4, in the several 
Ranges in the county of Trumbull, which are now included within the 
limits of the Hartford Presbytery. 

The Presbytery frequently acknowledges the receipt of small 
sums of money from the "Female Charitable Societies'' in 
Euclid, Aurora, and other places, for educational and mission- 
ary purposes. 

August 19, 1818. Voted to request the Synod of Pittsburg to set 
off that part of Grand River Presbytery which lies west of the east 
line of Portage and Cuj^ahoga counties into a new Presbytery. 

The Presbytery of Portage was constituted, in accordance 
with the above request, by an act of the Synod of Pittsburg, 
October 7, 1818. The first njeeting was held at Hudson, 
December 8, 1818. The constitution and regulations of this 
Presbytery, and the Confession of Faith and Covenant recom- 
mended to the churches connected with it, do not differ mate- 
rially from those of the Grand River PresbytHry, and therefore 
ne<'d not be here inserted. 

At iheir first meeting, the P'Utage Piesbytcry formed a Do- 
mestic Missionary Soriety for their own boun<ls, which was 
instrumental in the settlement of several ministers within the 

180 The Plan op Union • 

limits of the Presbytery (the Presbytery at this time extend- 
ing to the west line of the Reserve). 

An Education Societ}^ was also formed at the first meeting 
of the Presbytery, which was instrumental in aiding several 
young men in their preparation for the ministry, of whom 
President Sturtevant, of Illinois College, is one. 


The Huron Presbytery was organized upon a basis similar 
to that of the others, in 1823. The following extracts are 
taken from the Constitution of this Presbytery : 

Art. 4. The licensing of candidates, the ordination and installation 
of ministers over, and dismissing them from, churches belonging to 
this body, shall be by the Presbytery. 

5. The standing committee shall consist of not less than tvro, nor 
more than six ministers, whose duty it shall be to examine the cre- 
dentials of ministers and licentiates who shall apply for the approba- 
tion of this Presbytery during its recess ; and on receiving satisfac- 
tion respecting their qualifications to preach the Gospel, they shall 
recommend them to the churches, which recommendation shall extend 
to the next stated meeting of the Presbytery. It shall be the duty of 
the standing committee to give permission to candidates wishing to 
itinerate beyond the bounds of the Presbytery, &c. 

6. Licentiates under the care of this Presbytery shall be amenable 
to it for their preaching and moral conduct. 

10. When any minister proposes to join this Presbytery, it shall be 
the duty of the Presbytery, to satisfy themselves respecting his reli- 
gious sentiments and conduct, and admit or reject, as they shall deem 
expedient. The Presbytery shall also satisfy themselves respecting 
the religious sentiments and Christian practice of any church, before 
admitting it into this body. 

Organization op Presbyteries. 181 

11. Ministers belonging to this body, when called upon to organize 
a church, shall deem it their duty to instruct those who are wishing 
to be organized into a church, respecting the regulations of this body, 
and the importance of churches being connected with some ecclesias- 
tical body ; and when churches shall be formed by such ministers 
within the limits of this Presbytery, such churches shall be consid- 
ered as under the care of this body. 

12. Individual ministers or churches belonging to this Presbytery, 
may adopt either the Congregational mode of government and disci 
pline, or the Presbyterian. 

13. When those chui-ches which adopt the Congregational mode of 
government and discipline, have decided a case, and either party is 
aggrieved, appeal may be made to the Presbytery, whose authority 
extends only to the churches and not to the individual members ; but 
the appeal may not be carried to the General Assembly or Synod. 

14. This Presbytery shall be the standing council of the churches 
under their care, to whom all cases of diflQculty, in which counsel or 
advice is desired, shall be referred ; unless permission be obtained 
from the Presbytery to call a select council. 

15. In all cases of trial, the evidence on both sides shall be fairly 
taken and recorded by the judicatory, and in cases of appeal this ev- 
idence shall be presented to the superior judicatory as the ground of 

16. No church belonging to this body shall give a call for settle- 
ment to any candidate or minister, until he shall have been approved 
by the Presbytery, or two of the standing committee. Nor shall the 
Presbytery ordain a candidate until he shall have put himself under 
their care ; nor install a minister until he shall have joined this body. 

17. Every church belonging to this Presbytery, shall be represented 
at the meetings of the Presbytery by one delegate. 

19. Each church shall at the stated meeting in April, exhibit their 
records to the Presbytery for examination. 

182 The Plan of Union. 

22. These regalations shall be read to the Presbytery annually at 
the sessions in which the officers are chosen. 

23. (Provides for altering the constitution by a vote of two-thirds, 
after four months notice. ) But the twelfth article shall never be af- 
fected by any additions or alterations which these regulations may 


In May, 1825, the General Assembly of the Presbyterian 
Church, ^' after hearing the papers relating to the erection of 
a new Synod," and duly considering the subject. 

Resolved, That the Presbyteries of Grand River, Portage and Hu- 
ron be, and they hereby are detached from the Synod of Pittsburg, 
and constituted a new Synod, to be designated by the name of Synod 
of the Western Reserve ; that they hold their first meeting at Hudson, 
on the fourth Tuesday of September next, at 11 o'clock A. M. ; and 
that the Rev. Joseph Badger preach the Synodical sermon and act as 
Moderator, till another be chosen ; or in case of his failure, then the 
oldest minister present shall officiate in his place. 

Sept. 25th, 1825. The Synod of the Western Reserve, agreeably to 
appointment by the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church in 
the United States, met in the Presbyterian Church in Hudson, at 11 
o'clock, and was opened by the Rev. J. Badger, with a sermon on 
2 Cor. iv: 5 "We preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus, the Lord." 

After prayer the following persons were recognized as members of 
the Synod, viz : 


Ministers — Rev. J. Badger, G. H. Cowles, D. D., E. T. Woodruff, 
N. B. Derrow, J. Leslie, H. Coe, L. Humphrey, J. W. Curtis, R. Stone, 
U. Palmer, P. Pratt. 

Elders and Members of the Standing Committee — A. Griswold, 
L. Tomlinaon, J. M. Martin, S. Witter, S. Atkins, F. Proctor, R. Bee- 

Organization op Presbyteries. 183 

from the presbytery of portage. 

Ministers — Rev. R. J. Keys, C. Pitkin, J. Seward, W. Hanford, 
J. Ti'eat, C. B. Storrs, J. Merriam. 

Elders, &c. — 0. Norton, B. Spencer, G. Kilbourne, T. Couant, 
"VV. Dickinson, D. Williams, A. North, E. Bostwick. 


Ministers — Rev. S. Woodruff, J. Shailer, L. B. Sullivan, S. S. 
Bradstreet, D. W. Lathrop. 

Elders, &c. — S. Bixley^ J. D. Crocker. 

Absent from the Grand River Presbytery — Revs. A. Jones, W. L. 
Strong, G. Sheldon, A. Morse, J. Winchester, D. Miller. 

From the Presbytery of Portage — Revs. J. Field, B. Fenn. 

From the Presbytery of Huron — Revs. A. Coe, A. H. Betts, J, Mer- 
cer, E. Congar. 

Rev. G. H. Cowles, D. D., was chosen Moderator ; Rev. W. Han- 
ford, Stated Clerk ; Rev. J. Treat, Permanent Clerk ; Rev. S. Brad- 
street, Temporary Clerk. 

The Presbytery of Grand River reported that they consisted of fif- 
teen members, and had under their care thirty-six congregations, and 
two licentiates, viz : D. Miller and J. Pepoon. Of the fifteen minis- 
ters, eight were settled pastors. The membership of the churches in 
Grand River Presbytery, numbered at that time thirteen hundred and 
thirty seven. 

The Presbytery of Portage consisted of nine ministers and twenty 
congregations. Seven of its ministers were pastors. Membership, 
seven hundred and forty-three. 

Presbytery of Huron numbered nine ministers and twenty-nine 
congregations ; five of the ministers pastors ; membership of the 
churches, six hundred and five. 

Thus was completed the organization of the Presbyterial Ec- 
clesiasticism of the Western Reserve. And here was offered 

184 The Plan of Union. 

the gratifying spectacle of a vigorous, harmonious Synod, built 
up, from the very first, upon the Plan of Union. As a Synod, 
it was, what it ever continued to be, Calvanistic in doctrine, or- 
derly in its polity and practice, devout in spirit, and efficient 
in laboring for all the higher interests of the Kingdom of 
Christ on earth. 

Seldom, if ever, were the majority of churches and minis- 

*' ters united in one body, more contented and gratified with 

their institutions, or more attached to each other, than were 

these, during several years after the organization of the Synod. 

It was not discovered by the better portion of the ministers 
and churches embraced in the Synod, that either Presbyterians 
'' or Congregationalists had surrendered aught that was vital and 
valuable in their respective systems ; or that either was dis- 
posed to make a gain of the other. 

A few jealous persons and restless agitators there were, who 
at times expressed dissatisfaction with the Union ; but happily, 
for many years, they were few, and not zealous or influential 
enough to breed a schism. 

Of the healthy, constant and rapid growth of the Synod and 
Presbyteries, we need not delay to speak at length. 

The Table, prepared in 1836, by Kev. A. R. Clarke, 
shows the great increase of churches and ministers up to that 

Had the entire Presbyterian and Congregational interests of 
the Reserve continued until the present time, to prosper, as 
they did up to about the year 1836, the happy consequences 
Would have been perhaps too gratifying. 

But <* it must needs be that ojQfensos come "; and come they 

Organization of Presbyteries. 185 

did. We will not, however, add the other clause of the Sa- 
viour's remark ; to him belongs judgment and recompense. 
Suffice it to say, that for the churches and ecclesiastial bodies 
of the Keserve, troubles, agitations and perils were in store, 
above what fall to the lot of most sections of the church, at 
the present day. The beginnings of these things must next 
engage our attention. 

As we advance, the reader will perceive, that dissatisfaction 
at length arose on both sides, and that the Synod has for 
many years been situated between two hostile forces, each in- 
tent upon its demolition. If, under these circumstances, it 
has not always enjoyed an enviable reputation, who can won- 
der ? That, amid all its trials, it has carried itself commend- 
ably, and preserved, in the main, an orderly and Christly 
spirit, only its enemies will deny. And it is probable that 
it has been as fruitful in all good works, as any branch of the 
church, similarly circumstanced, could be. Dig away the soil 
from the best tree, -^ belabor it yearly with clubs and stones, 
and graft upon it scions of the crab and thorn, and its fruit- 
fulness must be diminished. 



The fraternal communion and harmony of the Churches on 
the Reserve, were not seriously interrupted, nor the existing 
order of things often spoken against, before the year 1832. 
Occasionally, even from the time when the first Presbytery was 
organized, a zealous sectarian, generally but recently arrived, 
and ignorant of the origin and natural growth of religious or- 
ganizations on the Reserve, would put forth a feeling plea for 
the ecclesiastism of his ^'fathers." A few hoped, in time, to 
see the Union system give way to exclusive Prcsbyterianism, 
or pure Congregationalism. 

But the true fathers of the church of the Reserve, the lib- 
eral, judicious and godly men, who had by their toil and sac- 
rifices, and God's blessing, changed the wilderness into a 
fruitful field, still swayed an influence, which easily neu- 
tralized the complaints of such malcontents. So beautifully 
and efficiently did the existing order subserve the purposes of 


Opposition of Congregationalism. 187 

a Church polity, that it was difficult for even an enemy to wag 
his tongue against it. 

But there never was, on earth, an Eden into which a ser- 
pent did not creep. When the devil cannot harass the people 
of God by foreign enemies, it is his common policy to create 
dissension, and array them against each other. Whether for 
good or evil in the end, prosperity and peace, in time, breed 
discontent and schism, as surely as the calm breeds the hur- 

About the years 1831-2, the Congregational element on the 
Reserve, was much increased by the arrival of zealous minis- 
ters and laymen, from the east, who had little knowledge of, 
and as little regard for, the origin and history of the churches 
and Presbyteries of the region. Eager to make their mark, 
and to reproduce the ecclesiasticism of the older States ; and 
having no adequate apprehension of the evils, agitations and 
strifes that must attend reorganizations and the transformation 
of indigenous institutions ; ignorant of the attachment of the 
churches and people generally to their ecclesiasticism, and 
confident of their own ability speedily to correct what they 
considered the absurdities and irregularities of the West ; these 
persons began to stir up the more mobile and disaffected ele- 
ments, that were scattered through the churches, and agitate 
the subject of a change in church order and connections. 

Cognizant of these movements and tendencies, the Rev. J. 
Seward, ever a Congregationalist in sentiment, but ever the 
fast friend and guardian of the Church of the Reserve, sought 
to forestall the evils of agitation and schism, by publishing a 
series of articles in the Ohio Observer, in the year 1831, en- 

188 The Plan of Union. 

titled " Brief Statements upon the History of the Churches 
on the Western Keserve." These ^^ Statements," clear, can- 
did and explanatory of the origin and growth of the Churches 
and Presbyteries, under the Plan of Union, served to enlighten 
and satisfy many of the more recent immigrants, and repressed, 
though they could not entirely prevent, the rising disaffection. 
The leaven of sectarianism, having got into the mass, true to 
its evil nature, would work. 

In April, 1832, a communication appeared in the Observer, 
signed A — S — , advocating pure Congregationalism. This 
A. S. enjoys the equivocal honor of commencing, through the 
press, a discussion of Western Reserve Ecclesiasticism, which 
has been *' both long and loud '', and fertile in bitterness. 

The writer said — ^^ As there are a variety of opinions on 
Church Government, I have thought proper to give mine; 
which I think accords with the Bible and the practice of the 
Puritans.'' His opinion was, that each church is a sovereign, 
independent body 3 and that there can be no ecclesiastical con- 
trol exercised over the churches, without infringing upon their 
rights, and the rights of the great head of the church. 

The Editor of the Observer remarked, relative to the publi- 
cation of the article — *^ We have come to the conclusion that 
a fair discussion of the subject, pro and con, will do more good 
than hurt. We shall therefore open our columns to the dis- 
cussion for a time. There is no danger of too much investi- 

Probably posterity will differ with the Editor relative to the 
resulting proportions of good and evil, from this discussion. 
There is no danger of too much ''investigation" properl} 

Opposition op Congreoationalism. 189 

conducted ; but much danger of '^ too much '^ partizan zeal 
and uncharitable denunciation and discontent ] as time has 
shown. The good to result from that discussion seems to be, 
as yet, mainly a matter of faith ; the evil has been obvious 
these many years. 

About the same time that the Congregational opposition to 
the Presbyteries began openly to operate, disaffection began to 
be expressed also by the Presbyterian relations, at a distance. 
It is but just to say that the Presbyterians of the Reserve, 
never much disturbed the existing order. We have seen that 
Mr. Barr, the most disaffected of the ministers, left the field 
to seek a stronger Presbyterianism elsewhere. Would it not 
have been better, if certain Congregationalists had imitated his 
example ? But the disaffection which grew up, in other parts 
of the Presbyterian Church, toward the Synod of the Reserve, 
may have stimulated the opposition of the Congregationalists j 
and certainly, greatly increased the embarrassments of the 
Synod. Of this, more hereafter. 

In January, 1833, an article, signed ^' Timothy,^' was pub- 
lished, warning the churches against dissensions and the influ- 
ence of an agitating oligarchy. 

In April of the same year, the Presbytery of Portage issued 
a Circular to the churches under their care, designed to coun- 
teract the growing discontent. From that paper the following 
extracts are taken : 

Individuals in several of the churches under our care, have ex- 
pressed a measure of solicitude in regard to the form of government 
Yrhich we have adopted, and desire that a change may be effected. 
While such has been the fact in regard to some, we appi'ehend that 

190 The Plan of Union. 

the great body of members in our churches are satisfied that any 
change in our present organization would occasion divisions, be at- 
tended with consequences very undesirable, and produce a breach 
among brethren which we should all deplore. Under this organiza- 
tion the great Head of the church has favored us with his approbation. 
A degree of union and love, seldom experienced, has been enjoyed ; 
which we desire to see perpetuated, that our united efforts may be 
directed, free from diverting causes, to the future prosperity of our 

The Circular points out the Union features of the Presby- 
tery, so happily adapted to all the churches, and proceeds — 

The Presbytery has never sought to dictate, nor to change the form 
of organization, adopted by any of the churches. When a church 
has been formed by members of the Presbytery, the individuals 
comprehended in the church have decided as to its form of govern- 
ment. If a majority of the male members were Congregationalists, 
the church adopted the Congregational mode of government and dis- 
cipline. If a majority were Presbyterians, the mode of government 
and discipline adopted corresponded with their views. The minority 
acquiesced in the decision, and lived harmoniously with the majority. 
Nor are we acquainted with a single instance in which the minoi'ity 
in a church has attempted to affect a change in the form of govern- 
ment, or to make difficulties on the subject. Nor are we acquainted 
with any instance in which such attempts have been made by minis- 
ters belonging to this Presbytery. 

To the Congregational churches, the Presbytery is a standing coun- 
cil, to which they may come with their difficulties, and receive the 
advice needed. As a bond of Union, and a guardian of the purity of 
doctrines and order in the ministry, the Presbytery also stands to the 
Congregational churches in the relation of a Consociation ; while to 
the Presbyterian churches it is strictly a Presbytery. 

The article further stated the origin of the Presbyteries, and 

Opposition of Congregationalism. 191 

the improbability, at that time, of otherwise uniting the feeble 
churches, so much in need of co-operation and care. 

This Circular was signed by Rev. Wm. Hanford, Stated Clerk 
of the Presbytery ; and bears the mark of his clear, candid, 
Christian spirit and sentiment in its composition. Had such 
of the New England brethren as Messrs. Hanford and Seward, 
opposed the existing ecclesiasticism, it might soon have been 
demolished. But that class of ministers too well knew its 

Portage Presbytery had now become the leading Presbytery 
in the Synod; and this circular combined, with other influ- 
ences, to allay somewhat the spirit of revolution. 

A new importation of eastern denominationalists was needed 
to revive the agitation 3 and in due time they appeared. 

Prominent amongst the first disturbing elements in the re- 
gion, about this period, were a class of itinerant evangelists, 
who introduced much novel machinery in promoting set revi- 
vals, which were, no doubt; well intended, but which so far 
ignored divine agency in conversion, and so worked upon the 
mere emotions of unindoctrinated people, particularly youth, 
as to become suspicious and even odious to those who had 
confidence in the usual means of grace. 

About the same time, a crusade was preached against all 
denominationalism, and in favor of what was named Union- 
ism ; which was in fact an effort to destroy all true union and 
co-operation, and abolish all denominations, in order to collect 
all nominal Christians into one hetereogenous mass, — a kind 
of Socialiirm, that is only practicable under anarchy or Popery. 
In July, 1835, the movement in behalf of Congregational- 

192 TiiePlanofUnion. 

ism was revived ostensibly by the church at Hudson. Messrs. 
D. Hudson, 0. Brown and Gr. Kilbourne, having been ap- 
pointed by that church as a committee of inquiry and corresl 
pondence, relative to the formation of a new ecclesiastica- 
organization, published an article to the churches, to the 
effect, that the union of Congregational churches with the 
Greneral Assembly, was both undesirable to Presbyterians, (as 
the efforts made to secure a separation indicated,) and un- 
profitahle to Congregationalists. ^^ They are dissatisfied with 
us; and we do not want to share their agitations." The 
committee '' believe that the union should be dissolved ;" 
and therefore make suggestions relative to the formdation of 
a Congregational Association. The movement aims at the 
union, ^' so far as possible, without the sacrifice of fundamen- 
tal principles "of all those churches" which now constitute the 
Synod of the Western Reserve," and also a Union '^ to a 
wider extent, with all such churches as shall approve of our 
principles," — (a union to be effected by universal disunion /) 
Although the Hudson Committee were the ostensible leaders 
in this movement, it was claimed that it did not originate 
there ; and a plan of organization was published, purporting 
to have been furnished to the committee by a minister in an- 
other part of the Reserve. 

To show what shape the effort assumed at this period, we 
condense and extract from the proposed basis as follows : 

Each church shall be independent in its government, subject to no 
ecclesiastical authority, possessing the right to manage its internal 
affairs either by a bench of elders, a standing committee, or by the 
whole body of the church 

Opposition of Congregationalism. 193 

There shall be an annual meeting of the associated Pastors and 
Churches, which may examine and license candidates ; ordain, install 
and dismiss pastors ; exercise original jurisdiction in all cases of com- 
plaint or discipline, against ministers, members of their own body ; 
give advice on questions of faith, practice, or discipline, referred to 
them by the churches ; and consult respecting the best means of ad- 
vancing holiness in the churches and communities. 

Each churcl^ may bear such name as it may choose, or as may have 
been given to it at its incorporation. ' 

The body composing the annual meeting may adopt such name as 
shall be mutually agreed upon, perhaps Consociated Presbytery. 

The Consociated Presbytery did not, however, get itself con- 
sociated as readily as was hoped. 

A communication soon appeared, signed " S. J. B.'' (Brad- 
street,) maintaining that Presbyterianism " is a thousand times 
better than Congregationalism," yet anticipating a rupture with 
the General Assembly, and discussing the propriety of a se- 
cession on the part of the Western Reserve Synod and the en- 
tire New School party, from the General Assembly. S. J. B. 
believes that ''the Western Reserve Synod are unanimous 
enough in feeling safely to take the lead in such a move- 
ment j" yet deprecates the step as one that would be ruinous 
in its influence upon other Synods, and the general interests 
of the church. Nor does he believe that the Western Reserve 
churches could agree upon any thing else that would satisfy 
them as well as the present arrangement. 

To this communication Esq. Hudson replied, in behalf of 
Congregationalists ; maintaining that the people and churches 
on the Reserve were mostly Congregational; that in their in- 
fancy they were taken under the care of Presbytery, expecting 


194 The Plan op Union. 

to be dismissed as soon as they were able to go alone ; declar- 
ing further that ''they do not enjoy their rights in the pres- 
ent connection, and will not long submit to the control of 

A convention was called at Hudson Sept. 3, 1835, immedi- 
ately after Commencement in the Western Reserve College, 
to consider the subject of a change in ecclesiastical institutions. 
Addresses were made by Rev. Messrs. Lyman, Beecher, who 
was in attendance at the Commencement Exercises, Hanford and 
Palmer, and Messrs. Kingsbury, Hudson and Baldwin. After 
discussion, Messrs. Hanford, Keep and Baldwin were appointed 
a committee to state to the churches the reasons why the con- 
vention " deem it inexpedient to take measures, at this time, 
for altering the present system of church government." 

The committee appointed to make the statement, for some 
reason, failed to co-operate; and at length Mr. Hanford, in 
behalf of the committee, addressed a model letter to the 
churches, setting forth, in substance, that, ( 1 ) No adequate 
reasons exist for making a change. The churches now enjoy 
their rights, and conduct their government in the manner pre- 
ferred by them, without restraint or compulsion by Presbytery. 
They could gain no privileges by a change which they do not 
now enjoy. Under the present arrangement they have pros- 
pered and grown rapidly for many years. Twenty years be- 
fore, their membership numbered but a few hundred; now 
there were as many thousands ; the ministry meantime had 
increased nearly ten-fold ; and the benevolent contributions 
bad increased from almost nothing to nearly ten thousand 
dollars per year. ( 2 ) Moreover, circumstances imperative i 

Opposition op Congregationalism. 195 

forbade any such action at that time. No other plan was pro- 
posed which could unite the churches. No evidence existed 
that any considerable number, out of the one hundred and 
fifty churches, desired a change. A change, to accommodate 
the few dissatisfied, would be unwarrantable. 

A break-up would divide the churches into three parties, — 
ultra Presbyterians, Unionists, and ultra Congregationalists. 
Churches would split and be unable to support their minis- 
ters ; jealousies would be fermented, and the church generally 
diverted from its proper aim. Moreover, great questions were 
coming up in the Presbyterian Church, relative to co-operative 
benevolence, and kindred subjects, and it was the duty of this 
Synod to bear its part in deciding them. Should it now se- 
cede, its example would be imitated, and God alone could 
foresee where the schism would stop. 

At this time another valuable series of articles appeared 
from the pen of Rev. J. Seward, entitled, " Brief Considera- 
tions on Congregationalism," exhibiting the multiplicity of 
forms and indefiuitness of Congregationalism, and illustrat- 
ing, from history, some of the difficulties attending the admin- 
istration of church government by this method ; and exhorting 
the churches to be content with their present comfortable po- 
sition, and not incur the evils of division, for uncertain and 
doubtful gains. 

Thus the Congregational movement was again checked, and, 
so far as the organization of the *^ Consociated Presbytery" was 
concerned, suppressed. 

Meantime, however, a small organization had got into nom- 
nal existence under the name of '' Independent Congrega- 

196 The Plan op Union. 

tional Union of the Western Reserve;" but of the manner of 
its birth, or its history, the present writer has learned nothing 
definite. At a meeting held at Palmyra, August 27, 1835, 
the following churches were represented, viz : — the churches 
in Williamsfield, Wayne, Greene, Andover, Pittsburgh, Akron, 
Copley, Shalersville, Northfield and Elimburgh, Pa. 


Congregationalism had now secured another company of 
brave recruits from abroad, ready to do battle for her inter- 
ests, with all the zeal and confidence of former pioneers. The 
next year, 1836, another convention was therefore called at 
Hudson, to accomplish the task in which last year's conven- 
tion failed. The Observer, then edited by Rev. A. R. Clark, 
remonstraled, as usual, against needless agitation, believing 
that, " under present circumstances, the existing organizations 
harmonize and satisfy all parties better than any new organiz- 
ation could do." 

The convention, however, met August 25, 1836, and was 
attended by about thirty ministers and delegates, from nearly 
as yiany churches. Amongst the advocates for organizing a 
Congregational Union, were President Mahan and Professor 
Cowles, of Oberlin ; Rev. Messrs. Rockwell, Austin, Porter, 
and several laymen. Amongst those who opposed the move- 
ment, were Rev. Messrs. S. C. Aiken, Hanford, Sheldon, 
Parmelee, Eells and Clarke ; Harmon Kingsbury, S. Baldwin, 
and others. 

After discussing the resolution that, '^ It is now expedient 
to form a Congregational Union for the Western Reserve," it 

Opposition of Congregationalism. 197 

was passed, with the understanding that the vote was only 

Rev. Messrs. Prof. Cowles, J. Poole and D. Rockwell, and 
Deacons Elizur Wright and A Kilbourne, were appointed to 
draft a Constitution. 

The convention adjourned to meet at Oberlin on the 15th 
and 16th of September following. At that meeting nineteen 
churches were represented, and seventeen formally received 
through their delegates. 

A Constitution was presented, modified, and adopted as fol- 
lows : 

Art. 1. This body shall be called the General Association of the 
Western Reserve, and shall be formed of ministers, and not more 
than two delegates from each of the churches connected with it. ( If 
delegates were included, why was it not named Consociation ?) 

2. The object of this Association is not to exercise any ecclesias- 
tical control or jui-isdiction, nor to be a standing council to the 
churches (provided, nevertheless, that it shall withdraw Christian 
communion and fellowship from any ministers or churches proving 
themselves fundamentally corrupt in doctrine or practice). But it 
shall be its object to afford to such of them as choose the free exer- 
cise, of their Congregational rights, to facilitate and promote Christian 
intercourse and communion with one another, to support and aid each 
other in difficulties and trials, and to unite their counsels and eflForts 
for the welfare of the churches, the salvation of souls, and the gen-r 
eral interests of Christ's Kingdom. 

3. Any minister of the Gospel may become a member of this body 
by assenting to this Constitution, and by presenting proper testimo- 
nials of his Christian character and standing in the ministry. 

4. Any Congregational Church on the Reserve, may join the Asso- 
ciation by giving evidence that it is a church of Christ, and by assent- 


198 The Plan of Union. 

ing to this Constitution. Churches in places adjacent to the Reserve, 
may likewise join the Association on the same terms. 

5. This Association, believing that we are bound to offer Christian 
communion and fellowship to all whom Christ receives, design to com- 
prise in our creed no other points than such as we deem essential to 
salvation, of which the following is a summary : 

Art. 1. We believe that the Scriptures of the Old and New Testa- 
ments were given by inspiration of God, and are the only infallible 
rule of faith and practice. 

2. We believe in one God, the Creator and Ruler of the universe, 
existing in a divine and incomprehensible Trinity, the Father, the 
Son Jesus Christ, and the Holy Ghost, and possessing all divine per- 

3. We believe in the fall of our first parents, and the consequent 
entire apostacy and depravity and lost condition of the human race. 

4. We believe in the incarnation, death and atonement of the Son 
of God, and that salvation is attained only through repentance and 
faith in his blood. 

6. We believe in the necessity of a radical change of heart, and 
that this is effected through the truth, by the agency of the Holy 

6. We believe that the moral law is binding upon all mankind as 
the rule of life, and that obedience to it is the proper evidence of a 
saving change. 

7. We believe that credible evidence of a change of heart is an in- 
dispensible ground of admission to the privileges of the visible church. 

8. We believe that Christ has appointed Baptism and the Lord's 
Supper to be perpetually observed in the church. (This article, in 
the copy now used by the Oberlin Church, includes "the Christian 
Sabbath" as of "perpetual obligation in the Church.") 

9. We believe in a future judgment, the endless happiness of the 
righteous, and the endless misery of the wicked. 

OrposiTioN OF Congregationalism. 19 

The sixth article of the. Constitution provides for officers, 
meetings, &c. 

Art. 7 of the Constitution : Any churches embraced in this General 
Association, may associate or consociate themselves in smaller bodies, 
in such manner as they please, not inconsistent with the principles of 
this Constitution. 

Note. While we adopt the foregoing Confession of Faith and Con- 
stitution, as the basis of this Association, we, as a body, avow our 
adherence to the system of doctrines, and to the usages generally 
received among orthodox Congregational Churches in New England. 
We wish it to be distinctly understood that it is far from our intention 
to propose a substitution of the Articles of Faith of this Association, 
in the churches, instead of those which they have already adopted. 

The following resolutions were also adopted : 

1. That this Association has originated in an honest attachment to 
the principles of Congregationalism, in a. wish to carry out our Sa- 
viour's laws of Christian Union, and in a regard for the welfare of 
many churches, both on the Reserve and in the region south of us, 
that have not been connected with any ecclesiastical body, and have 
been waiting for and desiring an organization of this sort. 

2. This Association entertain a high regard for the Presbyterian 
ministers and churches on the Reserve, and would most cordially 
cherish their Christian fellowship, and our movement in forming our- 
selves into a distinct organization has not originated in any lack of 
confidence in those brethren, nor in any wish to be dissociated from 
their communion. 

Thus, at last, the Union got itself organized under the name 
of Association, but prophets were not wanting who augured only 
disunion and distraction as the fruits of the movement; and 
some churches and ministers, who at first entered into the pro- 

200 The Plan op Union. 

ject, soon after fell away. Whether in doing so, they ^' fell 
from grace/' we are not informed. 

In both the constitution and the doctrinal basis here adopted, 
we find something quite different from those upon which the 
Presbyteries were founded. After reading the fourth, fifth 
and seventh articles of the Constitution, together with the Ar- 
ticles of Faith, one cannot but think of the Michigan brother's 
definition of Congregationalism : "a ten acre lot, with a pair 
of bars on one side, but no fence around it." Good enough, 
if nothing mischievous needs to be kept out. 

The Ohio Observer, by request, published the proceedings 
of the Convention, accompanying them with the following 
editorial : 

We have before expressed our views relative to this movement, and 
our reasons for believing that the time for a change in our church 
polity had not yet come, and that evils would follow if a move should 
now be made. 

But a move has been made ; a new organization will be completed ; 
and our earnest wish now is, that it may be founded on such principles 
as will most effectually secure peace and harmony to the churches, and 
be best calculated to avert the evils which we have predicted. 

The fundamental principle of the effort is that of bringing all Chris- 
tians into one church or denomination. All Christians may unite, — 
Methodists, Baptists, Episcopalians, Presbyterians, Congregationalists, 
&c., — all who hold so much of Bible truth as is necessary to salvation. 
There is no mention made of the doctrines of Election, Perseverance of 
the Saints, Justification by Faith, Infant Baptism, &c. The principle 
is, we are bound to offer communion and fellowship to all whom Christ 
receives. Is this principle a good one, and can it be adopted ? We 
think not. Many of the doctrines which they hold are fundamentally 
wrong, and have a ruinous tendency. They may be Christians, but 

Opposition of Congregationalism. 201 

80 long as they hold these erroneous doctrines we can not consistently 
receive them to full communion ; and thus declare to the -world that 
in our opinion the denomination to 'which they belong is strictly 

The article proceeds to point out other objectionable fea- 
tures in the Constitution above given. 

The fundamental error adopted by the Association, consists, 
not in offering fellowship and communion with all whom Christ 
receives, but in identifying church relationship with Christian 
fellowship, and aiming to effect a spiritual union by mere ex- 
ternal aggregation and amalgamation. True Christian union 
is to be effected, not by a loose organization and lowering down 
of the terms of church membership so as to accommodate every- 
body, but by suffusing all denominations and churches with 
the charity of the Gospel, and begetting that mutual love 
which overlooks and tolerates external differences. A hete- 
rogenous conglomerate of discordant elements is very far from 
the true ideal of a church. 

It is, however, worthy of record, that the church at Oberlin 
has stood, so far, as the embodied realization of the above basis. 
With how much real interior unity its members best know. 

It was a little curious that the first convention, out of which 
the Oberlin Association grew, was called in Hudson ; though 
the union could not there get itself born. 

Immediately after the organization effected at Oberlin, the 
Rev. J. Seward again lifted up his voice of caution and admo- 
nition ', calling attention to the established organizations, the 
Presbyteries, as best suited to the wants of the churches. The 
ground taken by the Observer caused a slight curtailment of its 

202 The Plan of Union- 

subscription list, by those who entered the Association. Mr. 
Mahan immediately sent forth a sermon on the principles of 
Christian union, and Church fellowship. And the Observer 
republished the circular of Portage Presbytery, first sent out 
in 1833. 

The Presbytery of Trumbull also published a circular, in 
view of the eflforts made within its bounds, to alienate the 
churches; exhorting them to avoid division and strife, and 
adhere to the Presbytery, which was so well adapted to pro- 
mote the union of Congregational and Presbyterian churches. 

The organization of the Western Reserve Congregational As- 
sociation, was regarded as faiily pitting Oberlin against Hudson 
and the Synod. An effort had previously been made to secure 
Professor Finney at Hudson; and thus, by friendly compromise, 
prevent the organization of a second Theological Seminary. 
This effort failed. About the same, time the Oberlin men, 
particularly President Mahan, began to make prominent their 
distinctive and characteristic doctrines, particularly that called 
the doctrine of '' Christian perfection." Taking also an active 
part in what was generally regarded as the ultra Anti-Slavery 
movement, Oberlin became henceforth an object of suspicion 
and aversion to most of the ministers and churches on the 
Reserve. Soon after the organization of the ''Union," a caus- 
tic review of that movement appeared, setting forth that the 
thing at first originated at Oberlin, and was sent to Hudson to 
be subscribed, and complaining that '' strangers on the Reserve 
should take this early opportunity to strike a blow at existing 
institutions, a blow tending to divide ministers and churches 
heretofore harmonious ; (albeit this was disavowed by the mov- 

Opposition of Congregation alism. 203 

ers.) They propose universal union, yet aim to break up our 
union, whieh is so satisfactory and harmonious j for the effort 
aims to draw off all Congregationalists and thus to produce 
alienations, divisions and dissentions/' The writer also con- 
sidered it unbefitting, " that a minister at the head of a Liter- 
ary Institution, himself a member of Presbytery, should take 
the attitude of an assailant of Presbyterianism. Our minis- 
ters and churches generally, he maintained, are satisfied. If 
they wanted a change, let them effect it; but let it not be 
done by a few strangers, who do not so well understand our 

This article, of course, was answered, and the charge of 
aiming at divisions and schism repudiated. Discussion on 
both sides waxed warmer and fierce. Soon after the doctrinal 
peculiarities of Oberlin began to elicit extensive public discus- 
sion and animadversion ; and it became evident that the new 
Association could not secure the old fashioned Calvanistic 

Shortly after the organization of the General Association, 
a convention was held at Farmington, and the Trumbull Con- 
sociation organized, in accordance with a provision in the Con- 
stitution of the General Association ; adopting its Confession 
of Faith. How long this continued to exist, or what it ac- 
complished the writer has not learned. 

The General Association attained a continued, though for 
many years, doubtful existence. It may seem strange to Con- 
gregationalists abroad, that it should have fared no better in a 
region so largely populated by New Englanders. The reasons 
however were obvious to those upon the field. 

204 The Plan of Union. 

The attachment of most of the churches and people, to the 
existing order of things, was strong j and they cared not to 
experiment with novelties. The movement was forced, and 
did not grow out of the churches. Much, even of the decided 
Congregationalism of the Reserve, stood aloof from the novel 
and heterodox theology, emanating from the new Association ; 
and the antagonism between some of the independent Congre- 
gational Churches and Oberlinism, was every way as strong as 
between the latter and the Synod ; and as ruthless divisions 
were at length driven through some of the independent 
churches, as through those connected with the Presbyteries. 
In short, the Congregationalism of the Reserve, was a mixed 
and heterogeneous mass, having no principles of unity which 
could continuously hold together its separate elements. 

The Oberlin party gathered up the extreme radical, and 
somewhat Arminian elements, and attracted many of the rest- 
less and unstable elements, and produced a prodigious fer- 
ment, with occasional explosions. 

But most of the Congregationalism of the Reserve, found 
less afl&nity far with that, than with Presbyterianism, and re- 
mained in its former position. Many who, at first, entered 
into the movement, were disappointed by the results. 


The death of Esquire Hudson, in March, 1836, was a se- 
vere blow for the church in Hudson, and also for the orthodox, 
consociated Congregationalism which he had advocated. 

A man of worth and piety, he enjoyed the respect and con- 
fidence of all ; though known as the firm advocate of a change 

Opposition of CoNGRBaATioNALisM. 205 

in ecclesiastical matters. Yet the testimony, left shortly be- 
fore his death, in a letter written to Rev. J. Seward, exhibits 
a change in his convictions relative to the expediency of fur- 
ther prosecuting the agitation, and also shows the candor and 
Christian spirit of the man. An extract from the letter runs 
as follows : — "It being my honest conviction that the Con- 
gregationalism which I am endeavoring to sustain, is that 
happy medium between the independency of the church and the 
dictatorial power of the clergy ; which is best calculated to pro- 
mote the piety and peace of all concerned ; as well as being most 
scriptural of any hitherto devised; I must urge it on the 
consideration of both ministers and people ; but shall at pres- 
ent refrain from publishing any thing more on this subject; 
because, among other reasons, I find I can not express myself 
freely, without making statements which would have the effect 
of lessening the influence on the public mind, which our good 
ministers ought always to exert. The cause of Christ ought 
certainly to be dearer to me than my own reputation or any 
worldly consideration.^' 

The rugged pioneer, esteemed citizen, and devoted Chris- 
tian, sleeps in peace. On his tomb-stone the visitor may still 
read the epitaph of his own selection — "J. poor sinner^ 
saved hy graced 


The years thirty-six, thirty-seven and thirty-eight, formed a 

stormy and trying period for the Reserve Synod. On one 

side was decided and restless Congregationalism constantly 

working against it on account of its Presbyterianism. On the 


206 The Plan of Union. 

other side was a large proportion of the General Assemblj de- 
nouncing it for its Congregational irregularities. Yet, it is to 
be testified to its credit, that through all these commotions, it 
preserved its equanimity and harmony, and quietly worked 
along in its appointed sphere. Its meetings were peaceful and 
pleasant, exhibiting Christian love and fidelity to the members 
and churches, and to the Head of the Church, who did not 
fail to manifest his approbation. 

Nor, despite all the efforts made to weaken and subvert it, 
did most of the churches and their members fail to see in it 
an organization happily adjusted to the character and wants of 
the churches, and an organization efiBciently laboring for the 
cause of Christ. 

In the winter of 1836-7, Rev. James Eells, Sen., published 
a short series of candid articles, exhibiting the Scriptural basis 
and principles of the Presbyterian polity. Rev. J. Seward, 
the proper historian and guardian of the peace of the churches, 
sent forth, anew, his wholesome instructions and exhorta- 
tions. "While more passionate pleaders, both for the Synod 
and for Congregationalism, failed not to use both voice and 
pen with facility and zeal. 

The General Assembly of 1837, however, sent down upon 
the persecuted Synod, an avalanche that surpassed all preced- 
ing onsets. 

We are now to consider the Excision of the Western Re- 
serve Synod from the General Assembly, merely in its bear- 
ings upon Congregationalism. 

The Synod was, at this time, the most prominent exponent 
of the Plan of Union. The Congregationalism embraced in it, 

Opposition op Congregationalism. 207 

and around it, brought it into evil repute with the Assembly ; 
and, mainly on this account, the Union was repudiated, and 
the Synod spurned away. 

Here then, it might have been surmised, would be the end 
of the Plan of Union and its fruits. Congregationalists know- 
ing the extent of Congregational sympathy and elements in 
the Synod, and the small proportion of original Presbyterians, 
could but have regarded this movement as offering the very 
best opportunity to transform the Presbyteries into Consocia- 
tions, and secure their favorite polity. 

To the Presbyterians, the question must have been para- 
mount, what shall we do? Now, if ever, was the time to go 
over to pure Congregationalism. And considering the opposi- 
tion which Presbyterianism has ever met upon the Reserve, it 
is difficult to see why a change at that time would not have 
been advisable. 

Could orderly, orthodox associations and consociations have 
been then established and generally acquiesced in, subsequent 
agitations might have been prevented. A few more churches 
would probably have gone to the Old School Assembly ; and 
some churches might have been divided and ruined. But ju- 
diciously organized Consociations might probably have gath- 
ered most of the churches, then in the field, and held them. 

Such a change, however, neither met the approbation of the 
leading ministers and churches, nor the will of Providence. 

The Plan of Union had now become a permanent institu- 
tion, and had a destiny before it. The Associated Congrega- 
tionalists would not now desert their Presbyterian brethren, 
who had been for their sakes disinherited; nor would the 

208 The Plan op Union. 

Presbyterians consult their own comfort, reputation and con- 
nection, so far as to abandon the brethren and churches with 
which they had so long fraternally co-operated. The Union 
Synod was not a failure, and could not be demolished. Strong 
in its own frame work, and in the love of its churches, stronger 
in the affection and guardianship of the Lord whom it served, 
it braved the shock of excision ; and, like a strong ship, struck 
by an iceberg, tremble for a moment, but righted again, 
re-adjusted sail and rudder, and moved off as strong and 
majestic as before. 

Thus it was demonstrated that the ecclesiasticism of the Re- 
serve was adequate for its mission, adapted to the people and 
the soil on which it grew, and could not be subverted. 

It does not appear that the Congregationalism which op- 
posed it, gained any thing by the excision. The battle against 
Oberlin polity, theology and education, went on 3 and the an- 
tagonism between Oberlin and the orthodox and orderly Con- 
gregationalism of the Reserve, became more prominent. 

Efforts were now and then made, as aforetime, to start Or- 
thodox Congregational Associations and Consociations.* Zeal- 
ous adventurers from New England often set about the work 
courageously, lacking no perceptible talent which could minis- 
ter to their success. Beautiful organizations were sometimes 
effected, and began to work hopefully. But invariably, they 
found a lack of sympathy and of material ; and after a few 
years of decline and struggle, sank to rise no more. 

* The term Orthodox is used on the Reserve, not in distinction from Unitarian, as 
in New England, but to distinguish Calvinistic from Semi-Arminian and Oberlin 

Opposition op Congregationalism. 209 

How many specific efforts have been made since 1832, to 
establish purely Congregational bodies on the Reserve, is per- 
haps unknown to any person of ordinary powers of memory. 
Yet, out of them all, there has not yet arisen one, which has 
answered the expectations of its founders, or become, in any 
sense, a rival of the Synod or Presbyteries. Each of them, 
however, has undoubtedly assisted to keep alive the seeds of 
discontent, and prevent some of the churches of the Reserve 
from harmonizing with the others. There is a large number 
of Congregational Churches on the Reserve, standing alone, 
unconnected with any body of churches ; and any successful 
effort to unite these churches into fraternal co-operation with 
each other, if with nobody else, would do Christ service. Of 
late, there seems to be a prospect that something may be done 
in this direction. 

The Puritan Association, organized November, 1852, en- 
joys a good reputation, as a sound, Calvinistic, orderly body; 
embracing ten or twelve ministers and several churches. If a 
large, efficient, orthodox Congregational Association ever arises 
in this region, this will probably be the nucleus around which 
it will gather. 

The ''Medina Association," and the ^^North-eastern Associa- 
tion of Ohio," less known to the writer, are also believed to be 
promising, though small bodies, and laboring with a Christian 
spirit to build up churches kindred to those of New England. 

The most important Congregational movement of later years, 
was the formation, in 1852 of a State Conference. The call 
for the first convention issued form Marietta. The first meet- 
ing was held at Mansfield, and the roll of members comprised 

210 The Plan of Union. 

seventy-six members of convention and forty-four churches. 
What proportion of those were from the Reserve is not known. 
It was not the least remarkable feature of this convention that 
it first united in friendly conference, representatives of all the 
different styles and classes of Congregationalists in the State. 
And the remark of many of the attendants was, ^' we were 
surprised to find ourselves so much alike.'^ This surprise pro- 
bably grew mainly out of the fact, that the Oberlin brethren 
met with those who enjoyed an unquestioned reputation for 
orthodoxy. Whether the present resemblance grows out of a 
modification of Oberlin, or of the others; or is merely the re- 
sult of an unprejudiced comparison of views and aims, is un- 
known to the writer. 

It is to be hoped, that the effort so successfully begun, of 
uniting the scattered and independant Congregationalists of 
Ohio, may be efficiently prosecuted ; provided, the Congrega- 
tional sectarianism, which certain organs have been kindling of 
late, can be excluded. 

Still, it is not to be ignored that the fact, that these con- 
ferences embrace all the types of Western Congregationalism 
causes them to be regarded with distrust, and keeps back many, 
whose prejudices against Oberlin have been too long growing 
to be readily removed. 

As this Conference is apparently destined to exert an impor- 
tant influence upon the Congregationalism of the Reserve ; its 
doctrinal basis and constitution are here inserted. 


1. In the constituting of this Conference, each local Conference or 
Association, approving the basis herein proposed, shall be entitled to 

Opposition or Congregationalism. 211 

send as many delegates as there are churches connected with it, not 
less than one half of the delegates appointed being lay members, and 
each church which, from present existing circumstances, remains inde- 
pendent and which accedes to the basis of polity and doctrine herein 
laid down, shall also be entitled to one delegate, and this delegate shall 
be a lay member as often as each alternate year. 

2. The Officers of this Conference shall be a Moderator and Scribe, 
to be elected annually by ballot, and also a Register to hold his office 
for three years and until his successor shall be elected ; and he shall 
be ez officio a member of the Conference. 

3. Ordained ministers and laymen of evangelical churches who may 
be present at the meetings of this body, may be invited to sit as cor- 
responding members. 

4. The objects of this Conference shall be to promote harmony 
and intercourse among the churches of the State and to secure a more 
extensive co-operation in every good work, 

5. The several local Conferences shall retain their individual rights 
and privileges, and no ecclesiastical power or authority shall ever be 
assumed by the Conference or be delegated to it, 

6. This Conference shall meet on the third Tuesday of June, annu- 
ally, at 7 o'clock, P, M. 

7. This Conference shall establish its own Bye-laws and Regula- 
tions, subject to alterations at the future meetings. 

8. The Conference may interchange friendly correspondence with 
other religious bodies, 

9. At each meeting of the Conference, a first and second preacher 
for the next meeting shall be chosen. 

10. Any local Conference or church may withdraw from this body 
by assigning the reasons in writing, to the Secretary, 

11. The Constitution of this Conference except the fifth article, may 
be altered at the annual meetings of this body, by two-thirds of the 


Believing that the time has come for the formation of a State organi- 

^12 The Plan of Union. 

zation among the Congregationalists of Ohio, which shall secure har- 
mony of sentiment and co-operation of action, we, in convention 
assembled, recommend the system of a General Conference, established 
on the following doctrinal basis, which we understand to be, for sub- 
stance of doctrine, in harmony with the Westminster Shorter Catechism 
and with the system currently know as New England divinity. 


We believe that there is one only living and true God, self-existent 
and infinite in every perfection, the Creator, Preserver, and Governor 
of the Universe. 

That God is revealed in the Scriptures, as the Father, Son, and Holy 
Ghost : that these three are in essence one, and in all divine attributes 

That the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments are the word of 
God, given by inspiration, and are the only unerring rule of faith and 

That man was at first in a state of perfection ; from which he fell 
by transgressing the divine commands ; and that in consequence of his 
disobedience, the hearts of all men, until renewed by divine grace, are 
without holiness and wholly alienated from God. 

That man, as a sinner, deserves the curse of God, which is eternal 
death ; that he can make no atonement for his sins, nor in any way 
deliver himself from the just penalty of the divine law. 

That God has, by the death of his Son, provided an ample atone- 
ment for the sins of the world ; that salvation is freely offered to all ; 
and that all who truly repent and believe in Christ shall be saved ; and 
that those who reject the gospel will perish through their own impeni- 
tence and unbelief. 

That the hearts of men are so desperately wicked and averse to God 
and holiness, that if left to themselves, they will with one accord re- 
ject the offers of pardon through Christ and perish, but that God, in 
the soverignty of his love and to magnify the riches of his grace, has 
from all eternity purposed to bring an innumerable multitude to re- 

Opposition op Congregationalism. 213 

pentance and finally to glory ; and that all who are saved will owe 
their salvation to the mercy of God alone, and not to any works or 
merits of their own. 

That without a change of heart effected by the agency of the Holy 
Ghost no one can be an heir of eternal life ; and that all who have 
been thus renewed will be kept by the power of God through faith 
unto salvation. 

That Jesus Christ has a true church in the world, consisting of those 
who are friends to, and believers in, Him, and that all such, on a visible 
profession of their faith, have a right to its sealing ordinances (baptism 
and the Lord's Supper) and to baptize their infant offspring. 

That the Christian Sabbath is an institution of divine appointment, 
and its observance of perpetual obligation. 

That Jesus Christ will appear at the end of time to raise the dead 
and judge the world, and that all shall then receive a sentence of just 
and final retribution, the wicked be doomed to endless punishment and 
the righteous received to life everlasting. 

The coDstitution and basis of the Huron Congregational 
Conference is also subjoined; which was organized in 1852 as 
an auxiliary to the State Conference. This Conference embraces 
the Oberlin brethren of Lorain, Huron and Erie Counties. 
The reader may compare it with that of the '' General Asso- 
ciation" of 1836. 


1, The name shall be The Huron Congregational Conference. 

2. Its objects shall be to promote Christian harmony and inter- 
course among both ministers and churches and to secure a more effec- 
tive co-operation in every good work. It shall not curtail the absolute 
control of the churches embraced within it over their own discipline, 
or their relations to their pastors, and it shall neither assume nor ac- 
cept any ecclesiastical authority. 

214 The Plan OP Union . 

3. Any minister in good standing in some local church, may become 
a member of this Conference by consenting to its doctrinal basis as 
containing substantially the doctrines of the Bible, and by signing his 
name to the constitution. 

4. Any Congregational Church may become associated with this 
body whose articles of faith agree substantially with its doctrinal basis ; 
and every church thus associated shall be entitled to two delegates at 
any meeting of the Conference. 

5. Either churches or ministers (being in good standing in the 
Conference) may dissolve their connection with this body at their writ- 
ten request. 

6. The officers of this Conference shall be a Moderator, Scribe, 
Register, and Treasurer, the two former to be elected annually, and 
the two latter at the discretion of the Conference, and all by ballot. 

7. The Conference, when organized, shall make its own Bye-Laws 
and appoint its own meetings. 

8. This Constitution may be amended at any annual meeting, by 
a majority of two thirds of the members present. 


This embraces the following points of belief : 

1. That the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments were given by 
inspiration of God, and are the only unerring rule of faith and practice. 

2. That the Lord our God is one Lord, the Creator and the Ruler 
of the universe ; and that He reveals Himself to us in the Scriptures 
as the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost, each possessing all divine 

3. That by the disobedience of one man, sin entered our world, 
and that previously to regeneration, all moral agents of the race are 
enemies to God by wicked works, and their moral character is there- 
fore entirely sinful. 

4 . That all sin is transgression of the law of God, and deserves 
eternal death. 

6. That the Son of God became incarnate, and by his sacrificial 

Opposition of Congregationalism. 215 

death made an ample atonement for the sins of the world, thus ensur- 
ing salvation to those, and those only, who repent and believe in his 

6. That all men are averse to God and holiness ; that, left to them- 
selves, none ever repent and believe in Christ ; that hence there arises 
a necessity for the interposing moral power of the divine Spirit to 
renew and sanctify ; and that even Christians owe their perseverance in 
a holy life, as well as their regeneration, to the sovereign grace of God. 

7. That, hence, salvation is indeed all of grace ; yet that true 
faith works by love, and is evinced by sincere obedience to all the 
known will of God, 

8. That the provisions of gospel grace are purposely made so ample 
that victory over the world and sin is attainable by faith. 

9. That the moral law is essentially embraced in the gospel and en- 
forced with even enhanced obligation, 

] 0. That baptism and the Lord's Supper are the ordinances of the 
Christian church, and that all who profess faith in Christ and lead a 
correspondingly blameless life, are entitled to its fellowship and ordi- 

11. That God has ordained the Christian Sabbath to be perpetual. 

12. That at the end of time Christ will appear, to raise the dead, 
judge all the race, and award to the holy, everlasting life in heaven, 
but to the wicked, everlasting punishment in hell. 

The question now arises, why no efforts, to build up a large 
and efficient Congregational body on the Reserve, have as yet 
been successful. 

The causes are several, and are to be found, 'partly^ in the 
genius of Congregationalism itself which is antagonistic to 
strong and extended co-operative organizations. The churches 
planted in the wilderness felt strongly the need of sympathy 
and co-operation, and therefore naturally sought association 
with the nearest Christian organizations of kindred spirit, and 

216 The Plan op Union. 

naturally joined in building up such institutions of their own, 
as would unite and harmonize them. 

There have been adequate material and effort here ; but the 
modified Presbyterianism of the region has proved too strong 
and too well adapted to the wants of the people, to give way 
before any thing else. 

The indefiniteness and variety of Congregationalism in the 
West has also operated against its success. Some have advo- 
cated Independency; others, Associations; others, Consociations. 
Some would have a Calvinistic creed ; others, a creed Semi- 
Arminian ; and still others would adopt a basis which would 
embrace every body calling themselves Christian. Without 
unity there can not be strength. 

The character of those who labored for exclusive Congrega- 
tionalism has also operated against their success. 

They have not generally been men long acquainted with 
the churches of the Reserve ; nor men who had obtained any 
strong hold upon the people. Generally they had but a par- 
tial acquaintance with the field and the material upon which 
they were to work. Coming with strong denominational pre- 
judices, full of zeal, confident of their own abilities; and find- 
ing some few '^ old settlers" to sympathize with and encourage 
them, they have rashly begun to build without having counted 
the cost, and invariably found that they had not wherewith to 

The rash zeal of the Oherlin brethreii, also, did much to 
prejudice the cause of Congregationalism, both on the Reserve 
and abroad. The policy of purposely dividing churches, and 
organizing rivals where there were scarce materials for a sin- 

Opposition of Congregationalism. 217 

gle organization ; carried, as this policy was, to the dismember- 
ment even of independent Congregational churches; making 
two or three questions of moral reform, and as many doctrinal 
dogmas of questionable truth, paramount to all other interests 
of Christ's kingdom, could but work disaster to all concerned. 
It will take ages to wash away the stain and odium, and heal 
the evils, wrought by that short sighted and schismatical pol- 
icy. The policy is no longer practiced ; but there are regions 
upon the Reserve, which were so desolated by it, that long 
culture, and much toil, and rich showers of grace alone can 
bring them back to fertility. It is a matter for thanksgiving 
to God that the Oberlin brethren have at length discovered, 
that the way to unite Christians and churches, is not to break 
up all existing unions, and shatter to pieces churches and ec- 
clesiastical bodies, and fetch back chaos, in order to begin the 
world anew. The Plan of Union tolerated minor differences, 
yet adhered to the orthodox standards, and secured an eflficient 
co-operative polity. The Oberlin plan tore away doctrine and 
polity, and proposed only to construct a conglomerate, ignor- 
ing vital disagreements ; clamoring for universal brotherhood, 
yet scattering universal discord. 

But, a prominent reason, still existing, why purely Congre- 
gational organizations cannot succeed on the Reserve, is found 
in the existence of the Presbyteries, which constitute an ade- 
quate Congregational machinery for all but zealous sectarians. 
Most of the churches and people have felt that the Presbyte- 
ries subserved the purposes of a bond of union to unite or 
consociate them; a council to advise; and an association to 
guard the doctrinal purity of the chm'ches and ministry, with- 

218 The Plan of Union. 

out exercising over them any oppressive control or tyranny. 
The majority have been contented and satisfied with the origi- 
nal organizations, — have loved and clung to them; and so 
doing, the latter could not be superseded. And had it not 
been for the continued outcries and agitations of a few over- 
zealous propagandists, the churches might have enjoyed un- 
turbced peace, and the Synod have gathered up and united 
in fraternal concord nearly all the churches of the Reserve. 

New England Congregationalism, in New England, is admir- 
able; but in mixed communities, where there is no unity of 
sentiment, where all manner of wild opinions and movements 
abound, and where a different polity has pre-occupied the soil, 
it cannot accomplish what it does in New England. And the 
difficulty is necessarily increased where all varieties of Congre- 
gationalism attempt to occupy the same field. 

And why should not the Reserve cherish its own original 
ecclesiasticism, as well as New England or New Jersey ? Why 
shall any imported polity be forced in, where there already 
exists a system capable of answering all demands, and having, 
by thirty years unsurpassed fruitfulness, proved itself a true 
and healthy agent ? 

The better portion of the Reserve churches took the Plan of 
Union as a finality ; and they will adhere to it. Repeatedly 
it has been proved that no general interest can be awakened, 
either for pure Congregationalism or pure Presbyterianism, as 
an Ism, and an opponent of the native institutions of the re- 
gion. No High Churchism can flourish in this soil, whatever 
be its type ; nor can any outcries against co-operative institu- 
tions, prevent the co-operation of those who were born and 

Opposition of Congregationalism. 219 

bred together, and feel themselves one in Christ. And the 
minister, the layman, and the periodical, which make dcnomi- 
nationalism least prominent, and Christian charity most prom- 
inent^ will here be most successful. 


The Plan of Union was promulgated by the General As- 
sembly in 1801. During thirty years it was believed to work 
admirably, and under it many new regions were evangelized. 
About the time, however, that Unionism, Radicalism, Ober- 
ism and other Isms began to work upon the Reserve, 
many of the Presbyterian brethren at a distance, not un- 
derstanding the precise attitude of things in this region, 
nor^discriminating between the noisy and anomalous agitators 
of the time, and the orderly and conservative body of the 
churches, became greatly alarmed and scandalized ; and began 
to lament that they had taken troublesome boarders into the 
family. It now began to be suspected, either that the Plan of 
Union was a great error, or that the Synod of the Reserve and 
others affiliated with it, had widely departed from their lawful 
privileges and obligations ; and it was openly rumored that there 
were heresies in doctrine and irregularities in practice wholly 
inconsistent with Presbyterianism. 


Action op the General Assembly. 221 

These complaints called out an article in April, 1833, writ- 
ten bj Rev. J. Treat, and published in the Observer, entitled 
'''• Pred)ytery of Portage v indicated ^ 

The article notices charges made against the '■'■ orthodoxy 
and the integrity" of that Presbytery. The charge of hetero- 
doxy the writer deemed unworthy of notice, until it should be 
shown that the Presbytery had departed from the principles 
upon which it was organized, and which were sanctioned by 
the Synod of Pittsburg, when that body recognized it. 

The charge of disingenuousness related mainly to the fact, 
that the Presbytery was governed partly " by rules of its own 
making," and had in it Congregational churches \ the accusers 
claiming that it pretended to be Presbyterian when it joined 
the Synod, but that it was now virtually a Congregational 

To this charge Mr. Treat replied that the Presbytery was 
^' the same thing now that it was at its formation," and when 
received by the Pittsburgh Synod. The Presbytery always 
professed to be governed by its own rules ; rules, based upon 
the Plan of Union, by which the churches were permitted to 
adopt either the Presbyterian or Congregational form of gov- 
ernment, and to be represented in Presbytery by delegates. 
These rules, moreover, were, in October, 1818, presented to 
the Synod of Pittsburg, and by the Synod submitted to an able 
committee, who reported in their favor, and also in favor of 
the orthodoxy of the Presbytery. That committee's report was 
unanimously adopted by the Synod. This peculiarity of the 
Presbytery, he continues, had also been fairly presented to the 
General Assembly ) particularly in a statement sent up to the 

222 ThePlanofUnion. 

Assembly in 1821, in answer to an overture to the Presbyte- 
ries respecting the " revised form of government and forms of 

Thus commenced the agitation which resulted in the excision 
of 1837. We discern two specific accusations in the original 
complaints. Both of these, and several other considerations, 
had their influence in producing the final issue. 

The Presbyteries and Synod doubtless had the reputation of 
much that did not belong to them ; and ever have been, to 
a certain extent, identified, by persons at a distance, with many 
of the principles and movements against which they were most 
earnestly contending. To this day, there are many Presbyte- 
rians in diflFerent parts of the country, who never discriminate 
between the Oberlin Congregationalism, and the Congregation- 
alism embraced in the Presbyteries ; and who have no appre- 
hension of a strong, orderly, Calvinistic body on the Reserve, 
such as the Synod has ever been. The excision was in part 
brought about through misapprehensions of this sort. Had 
the General Assembly made a thorough investigation, and 
learned the prevailing theology, spirit and aim of the Synod, 
and its precise attitude relative to the evils complained of, its 
course would probably have been different. 

Yet there were causes operating, which probably must, in 
time, have resulted in a division of the Presbyterian church ; 
and the Plan of Union was made a scape goat upon which to 
lay the sins of revolution and schism. 

In the first place, there was a groicing denominational feeU 
ing in the Presbyterian church, which no longer cherished the 
charitable spirit out of which the Plan of Union grew. A 

Action op the General Assembly. 223 

large proportion of that body were tired of the co-operative 
benevolent Societies, and anxious to control exclusively their 
own missionary operations, and appropriate the fruits. The 
work of missions had now become a very different thing, from 
what it had been in the year 1801 ; and the General Assembly 
no longer felt dependent upon the Connecticut Missionary So- 
ciety, to support its missionaries. 

There was also a strong sectional feeling which had its in- 
fluence in producing the schism. The General Assembly, par- 
ticularly in the year of excision, was largely controlled by 
southern men, full of indignation against the anti-slavery en- 
thusiasm, which was burning fiercest in the regions covered by 
the obnoxious Synods. The Synod of the Reserve was known 
to be largely anti-slavery in its elements and spirit, and this 
intensified the local prejudice, which was partly generated by 
other causes. 

Doctrinal peculiarities were much harped upon; and cer- 
tainly there was some occasion for complaint. But no one, 
who has been intimately acquainted with the Western Reserve 
Synod, and with the predominant theology of the Old School 
Presbyterian Church, can avoid the conclusion that the outcry 
about doctrines has been mainly, either a misapprehension, or 
a device by which to justify and gratify prejudices, founded 
upon something else. 

At the time when the disaffection began, there were a few 
Congregationalists in the Presbyteries who held doctrines re- 
pugnant to all staid Presbyterians. We have before noticed 
the practice of receiving Congregational ministers upon certifi- 
cate, in the same manner that members from one Presbytery 

224 The Plan of Union. 

were received into another. By this means, certain ministers 
from New England, who had adopted the views of Professor 
Taylor, of New Haven ; some of the Oberlin men also, and 
perhajDS a few others in bad odor amongst strict Calvinists, 
had come into the Synod. Many of the ministers in this re- 
gion were also inclined to what has since been called the New 
School Theology; though scarcely any two persons could agree 
in a definition of that great heresy; and to this day it remains 
a profound mystery to most persons, what the real difference, 
between New and Old School Theology, is. 

That the prevailing theology of the churches and ministers, 
embraced in the Western Reserve Synod, had no affinity either 
with Taylorism or Oberlinism, is very certain. And nothing 
could have been more unjust than to repudiate the Synod on 
account of the small amount of elements of that character em- 
braced in it; particularly when, as at the time of the excision, 
those elements were fast separating, and collecting elsewhere, 
according to their native affinities. 

It is therefore to be admitted, that the Plan of Union had 
introduced temporarily, a small heterodox element into the 
fellowship of the Presbyterian Church. But that the Synod, 
as such, was heterodox, or the objectionable elements extensive 
enough to justify the excision of the whole, could only be be- 
lieved by those who were misinformed. As such, the Synod 
has ever been strictly Calvinistic, adhering to the doctrinal 
standards of the Assembly's Confession and Catechism, and 
maintaining Presbyterian discipline and order, so far as was 
consistent with the Plan of Compromise upon which it was 

Action op the General Assembly. 225 

The church of the Reserve adhered to that Plan, was faith- 
ful to it, and was determined to adhere to it ever. The Gen- 
eral Assembly was tired of that Plan, determined to get free 
from it ; and violently repudiated it and all that had grown up 
under it. 

The point most insisted upon by the General Assembly, at 
the time of the excision, and which stands in the records as 
the prime rock of offense, was the original unconstitutionality 
of the act of the Assembly which first endorsed the Plan of 

It certainly was an anomaly in Presbyterianism. But there 
ever will be those, who will wonder how the Assembly of 1837 
happened to be so much wiser and more constitutional than 
the Assemblies which had, for thirty-six years, preceded it. 
And particularly must it be regarded as strange, that the dis- 
covery of unconstitutionality was not made when the Consti- 
tution of the Presbyterian Church was revised and adopted, 
almost created, twenty years after the Plan of Union was in 

The particularly odious feature in the practical working of 
that Plan, was the admission of Congregational Deacons and 
committee men into ecclesiastical bodies, upon equality of 
privilege with Elders of the Presbyterian Church. 

But it is not in accordance with the true spirit of Presbyte- 
rianism to lay so much stress upon the ceremony of ordination, 
as to look with horror upon an officer appointed in another 
church to fulfil the same offices, and chosen for like virtues, 
standing in very nearly the same relationship to the church, 
as the Presbyterian Elder, even if appointed in a slightly dif- 

226 The Plan of Union. 

ferent way. There was evidently an unnecessary and invidi- 
ous nicety of discrimination used here. An acquaintance with 
both the officers of consociated Congregational Churches and 
Presbyterian Elders, discloses no such dissimilarity as renders 
their co-operation impracticable in ecclesiasticism. It can not 
be possible that Presbyterial action was vitiated by the parti- 
cipation of such representatives of Congregational churches as 
were introduced by the Plan of Union. An unprejudiced ex- 
amination of the whole subject, shows that the real grounds 
of division were, High Church denominationalism, a dislike of 
the co-operative benevolent institutions, particularly the Home 
Missionary Society, a fear of the democratic tendencies of Con- 
gregationalism, and an undue apprehension of the extent of 
Armenian doctrines and irregularities in "practice, introduced 
into the Synod under the Union. 

Had a judicious effort been made, these irregularities might 
have been corrected, and these heterodox elements expurgated 
(as they soon after indeed worked themselves out), without 
the excision. Yet there probably never could have been 
complete harmony between the elements that separated, be- 
tween co-operative and exclusive Presbyterians ; and sooner or 
later a division was unavoidable. 

Of the particular methods by which the excision was brought 
about, it is not necessary to speak. No union so intimate and 
of such long standing, can be violently sundered, without 
strategy and counter strategy and cruelty and unrighteousness. 
But the end, deliverance from the Union, being predetermined, 
means would be found in time to consummate it. They were 
found and used. And the unsuspecting family of churches, 

Action of the General Assembly. 227 

that had grown up under that Union, without suspicion of 
illegitimacy or consciousness of oflFense, were suddenly appalled 
to fine themselves cast out as children of the bond-woman, not 
only without name or inheritance, but branded as infamous. 
It is naturally impossible for those who were thus rejectod, 
ever to feel that they were treated kindly or even civilly, much 
less in a christian spirit; though they may, and should, forgive 
the excesses of sectarian zeal. 

It is probable, that those who produced the excision, " verily 
thought they did God service thereby/' And doubtless there 
was a wise providence, though unseen, directing the movement. 
It is perhaps better that the two great branches of Presbyteri- 
anism, representing two distinct phases of the age in which we 
live, should be separate and free, each, to develop, its peculiar 
spirit and tendencies, rather than to cripple each other, and 
neutralize their strength and efforts, in vain contentions. There 
was a destiny that drove them asunder. Let them forget the 
past, and exercise henceforth towards each other the charities 
which the Gospel requires. 



It might have been expected that after the excision, the 
rejected Synods would have resolved themselves into their 
separate native elements, and the Congregationalists and Pres- 
byterians, have sought each connections with which they would 
naturally better affiliate. But they were too strongly united, 
and had a life of their own too vigorous to be dissipated. 

After much perplexity, prayer and deliberation, the new 
Assembly was formed. The Synod lived, the Presbyteries and 
churches lived ; the Plan of Union lived ; co-operative, chari- 
table, American Presbyterianism and Congregationalism lived ; 
and worked, and advanced more rapidly than before. 

Yet, let it not be imagined that these agitations and rputures 
produced no serious injury. It was not possible for an eccle- 
siasticism thus beset, on one side by hostile Independency, and 
on the other by as hostile Presbyterianism, to accomplish the 
work it might have done, if let alone. The excision took off 
a few churches to the Old School body. The loss in this way 
was trifling. But the confidence destroyed, affections alienated, 
plans frustrated, and prospects blighted, tinje cannot wholly 


Conclusion of Ecclesiastici sm. 229 

repair. But the Congregational disaffection and hostility has 
really been much more injurious to the Union Synod, than the 
Presbyterian excision. The Presbyterian opposition came 
openly and suddenly in one concentrated storm. When that 
had passed, and serenity was restored, nothing more was to be 
apprehended, from that quarter. Presbyterians living on the 
Reserve have never much troubled existing things. But the 
Congregational schism, rooting into the soil, and breaking out 
hereand there almost yearly, in some new eruption, has contin- 
ued to eat away the life and vigor of the Synod. 

By this agency, many of the churhes have been weakened 
and distracted, and all more or less frustrated in their labors. 
We do not impugn the motives of those who have pushed di- 
vision, but we believe their zeal was " not according to know- 
ledge. '' Nor can we justify those who have merely stood alooff 
in sullen isolation, refusing to co-operate with other churches. 
They have suffered, and the cause of Christ has suffered by this 

In conclusion something must be said relative to the pros- 
pects of the Synod. 

It is common for sectarians, on both sides, to speak of the 
Plan of Union as about defunct, and soon to vanish away. 
Many anticipate the dissolution of the Western Reserve Synod, 
and others similarly constituted, if not of the New School As- 
sembly; and expect to see the Presbyterial element return per- 
haps to the Old School body, and the Congregational come out 
as pure Congregationalists. A thorough acquaintance with 
these bodies however, warrants no such anticipations. The 
Plan of Union is to day a living reality, as vigorous in many 

230 The Plan of Union. 

places, as it was twenty years ago. Neither Young Presbytery 
on tlie one side, nor Young Independency on the other, at all 
disturbs the stable churches that have grown and worked fra- 
ternally together, for a third of a century, and more. The 
fickle and restless, the sectarian and radical, may change and 
agitate. The Synod may be yet more diminished : and new 
rivals may arise j the Old School body may reclaim a few : In- 
dependency may win a few ; but most of the churches and 
ministers are contented with the Union and will adhere to it. 
The Anti-Slavery agitation, has been a fruitful theme for 
disunionists. By a, false interpretation of the import of com- 
munion and church fellowship, all churches and Christians 
holding any connection with the General Assembly, have been 
constantly accused of sanctioning and sustaining Slavery. The 
principle is simply that of Garrisonian disunion, applied to 
ecclesiasticism ; a principle false in its philosophy, incendiary 
in its spirit, and pro-slavery in its results. The Union Synod 
and Presbyteries are unqualifiedly anti-slavery in sentiment, 
and believe that they are accomplishing more for the cause of 
freedom by their present position, than they could do by seces- 
sion. Weak brethren, and unstable churches are frequently 
befogged, frenzied and led away, by wild disorganizers, to their 
own injury and nobody's benefit. But the fanaticism of the 
anti-slavery movement has mainly passed, and all the North is 
coming to a rational unity of sentiment upon this subject, which 
promises to lead to united action, by which something better 
than mere froth and denunciation, may be produced. The real 
sentiin'-nt of tlu; Re-ervc upon tliis subject is one, and it can 
aol be that churches will much longer foolishly sufier them- 

Conclusion of Eoclesiasticism. 281 

selves to bo distracted by the slight differences of opinion ex- 
isting relative to the means by which Slavery should be 

An important modification has also occurred in the policy of 
the Oberlin, or Radical Congregationalism of the Reserve. The 
division of churches is no longer pursued as a leading aim ; 
and the doctrinal peculiarities of Mahan and Finney attract 
little attention. A visible tendency towards at least modified 
Calvinism, is discernible in that quarter; or, at least, a weari- 
ness of the notoriety and singularity that once seemed to be 
gloried in. Apostles of disunion no longer traverse the land 
as aforetime, drawing multitudes after them. 

In short, quietude and peace are returning, and as a eonse-' 
quence, churches long distracted and desolate are begining to 
experience rich revivings of religion. Men begin to think 
once more about their souls, and the Kingdom of God, and to 
remember that the Lord rules over the world, including the 
Western Reserve. Reason, faith, hope and charity are not 
dead ; and there are tokens that a better day is dawning. This 
field has been unsurpassed in radicalism, agitations, novelties, 
and excitements. From the time when ranting advocates of 
* Unionism," and steam-engine revivalists, and abolitionism, 
run mad, first began to traverse the Reserve, twenty years ago, 
to this day, many of the people of the Reserve have been 
alternatly roasted and chilled, by spiritual " chill-fever,'^ which 
has consumed the vigor and life of the churches. 

Can we never learn that agitation is not reform, and that 
denunciation, secession, reorganization and excitement do not 
convert sinners, confirm Christians, nor extend religion, nor 

The Plan of Union. 

purify the church ? And can sectarian propagandists never 
discover that there is here an indigenous ecclesiasticism, adapted 
to our mixed population, deep-rooted in the hearts of our most 
stable christians and churches, fully adequate to secure freedom, 
progress, efficiency, and stability, and happily adjusted to the 
vital principles both of co-operative Presbyterianism, and of 
consociated Congregationalism ? 

The difficulties in our churches have not grown out of the 
Plan of Union ; but out of the High Church sectarianism that 
has on either side opposed it. And these difficulties are to be 
escaped only by ceasing to denounce, divide, and experiment 
\vith new organizations; and by charitably uniting in, and 
cherishing the natural Union which love to Christ begets, and 
which was beautifully illustrated in the first thirty years of our 

God be praised, that these truths are becoming appreciated by 
our people, and that a reaction in favor of peace and order and 
devotion to the spiritual, rather than the external and carnal, 
has commenced. May the rising light increase and blaze into 
the perfect day, and God's Spirit come back and baptize all our 
churches with new life and love. 



The enterprising, intelligent and pious settlers of the West- 
ern Reserve, early manifested a deep solicitude for the 6du- 
cation of their youth. As soon as settlements were large 
enough, little schools were collected and the best available 
teachers employed. 

Very soon the attention of the people, particularly of the 
ministers and pious families, was directed to the establishment 
of an institution of a higher order than the common school. 
Through the efforts of some of these men, who had at heart 
ultimately the establishment of an institution adequate to the 
preparation of young men for the ministry, an act was passed by 
the Legislature of Ohio, on the 16th of April, 1803, " incor- 
porating the Trustees of the Erie Literary Society" These 
Trustees were, David Hudson, Eliphalet Austin, Henry Cham- 
pion, John Leavitt, Martin Smith, Ephraim Root, Harmon 
Canfield, John Walworth, John S. Edwards, William Hart, 
Turhand Kirtland, Solomon Griswold and Rev. Joseph Badger. 
The act of incorporation gave them power to hold property, 
20* (233) 

234 'The Plan of Union. 

erect buildings for a College or Academy, determine the name 
of the Institution, purchase apparatus, employ instructors, i.e. 
President, Professors, Tutors, &C.3 have a common seal, and fill 
their own vacancies. 

But the country was yet too new and the settlers too limited 
in resources to proceed very fast with such a project. The 
Trustees met but seldom, and for many years confined their 
efforts to the attainment of a fund adequate to start the insti- 

February 19, 1810, the Legislature added Eleazer Hickcox 
and Peter Hitchcock to the Board of Trustees. No regular 
records were kept until November 13, 1816. At that time, a 
meeting was held at Warren. From the minutes of that meet- 
ing it appears that T. Kirtland was President of the Board 
and J. Leavitt Secretary. Messrs. Edward Leavitt and Wal- 
worth had died, and Mr. Tomlinson, Kev. Luther Humphrey 
and Rev. John Seward were appointed in their places. Peter 
Hitchcock was appointed Secretary, and continued to discharge 
the duties of the office as long as the Board continued to act. 
At the same meeting, Messrs. Canfield and Smith resigned, 
and Rev. Wm. Hanford and Benjamin Whedon were elected 
in their places. 

April, 1817, the Board appointed committees from their 
own number, to solicit donations. The enterprise now as- 
sumed a more religious aspect. August 22, 1817, Eleazer 
Hickcox was appointed agent to take care of the real estate 
belong to the Corporation, and D. Hudson was associated with 
him, with power to lease the real estate for any time not to 
exceed twenty years. The Secretary was directed to apply to 

Fducational Institutions. 235 

the Legislature for a remission of taxes, penalties and interest 
due upon the lands of the Corporation. 

January 23, 1818, an act was passed "exempting from tax- 
ation the lands of the Erie Literary Society.'' In the fall of 
1817, the Trustees voted to " erect a building in the township 
of Burton, for the use of the Corporation," &c. Voted also 
" to appoint a committee of five to examine what number of 
scholars can be procured for the ensuing winter, and if a suffi- 
cient number offer, to employ an Instructor, provided a suita- 
ble person can be found." 

The year 1817 also gave birth to another educational move- 
ment, designed to co-operate with the institution, to be started 
at Burton. 

The Grand River Presbytery, at a meeting in Austinburg, 
February 12, 1817, organized itself into an Educational So- 
ciety, to be known as the Grand River Education Society. 

In 1818, the Prudential Committee of this Society, in the 
name of the Trustees, published in pamphlet an " Address," 
commending the objects of the Society to the " friends of 
Science and Religiony' earnestly soliciting co-operation by in- 
dividuals and by " Auxiliary Societies." At this time, they 
reported that they had two beneficiaries under their care, and 
that " other pious youth were intending to apply as soon as 
opportunity should be presented." 

June 14, 1819, the Trustees of the Erie Literary Society 
appointed a committee of two, with discretionary power to sell 
the real estate of the Corporation, or to lease it for a term not 
exceeding ninety-nine years. 

Also, a committee to collect and appropriate funds for th e 

236 The Plan of Union. 

completion of the building, so that a school might be com- 
menced by the first Monday of November, 1819. Also, a 
committee to prepare rules and a course of education for the 
school. The course of study adopted, comprised Reading, 
Writing, Arithmetic, Grammar, Geography, Elocution, Logic, 
Belles Lettres, Latin, Greek, Mathematics, and any other 
branches usually taught in the Literary Institutions of New 
England." Text books were prescribed; and it was specified 
that the Principal should be a graduate of some American 

The dedication of the building was appointed to take place 
on the second Tuesday of November, 1819. Rev. J. Seward 
was requested to preach a sermon upon the occasion. 

April 11, 1821. The committee were instructed to employ 
Mr. David Coe as Principal. Thus, at last, the institution was 
fairly started. 

But the Burton School did not long flourish. The place 
soon obtained the reputation of being sickly; and this, with 
rival claims that started up in other places, and various other 
causes, contributed to operate against it, and eventually to di- 
vert the funds of the Corporation to another place. 

In 1822, a movement was started which eventually resulted 
in the founding of the Western Reserve College, at Hudson. 
The following account of this movement is extracted from a 
report presented by Mr. Seward, in behalf of the Trustees of 
the College, in 1835 : 

In January, 1822, a communication from Rev. Mr. Bayley, of New 
Castle, Maine, upon the importance of a united effort by the minis- 
fers in this region (the Reserve) to establish an institution for the 

Educational Institutions. 237 

purpose of educating pious young men as pastors for our destitute 
churches, was laid before a meeting of ministers belonging to the 
Presbyteries of Grand River and Portage, which bodies included the 
whole of the Reserve, with the exception of a few townships in the 
south part of Trumbull County. The members of the meeting, after 
mature deliberation, resolved to embrace the first opportunity for pre- 
senting the subject to their respective Presbyteries. The business 
was presented to each of the Presbyteries at their next stated meet- 
ing ; and resulted in the appointment of a joint committee, consisting, 
from the Grand River Presbytery, of the Rev. Messrs. G. H. Cowles, 
and H. Coe, with George Swift, Esq., and from Portage Presbytery, 
of Rev. Messrs. J. Seward, J. Treat, and Elizur Wright, Esq. 

This committee was directed to meet at Warren, Trumbull Co., on 
the 16th of April, 1822, to devise ways and means for establishing on 
the Connecticut Western Reserve, a Literary and Theological Institu- 
tion. The afternoon of the day preceding the meeting of this com- 
mittee, was, by the recommendation of the Presbyteries, observed as 
a concert of prayer by the churches, that the blessing of God might 
attend their deliberations and lead to a happy result. Thus did the 
Presbyteries take hold of this business, and at the same time take 
hold of the arm that moves the universe. 

At the joint meeting of the Presbyteries, on the 30th of the same 
month, the report of this committee was adopted, and a Board of 
Managers of the Education Fund, consisting of four from each Pres- 
bytery, was immediately appointed. Exertions were made to raise 
funds, and several pious young men were soon taken under the pat- 
ronage of the Board. 

After about two years, it became evident that measures must be 
taken to fix on a plan for the permanent location of the contemplated 

During this time the Presbytery of Huron was organized, covering 
the four Western Counties on the Reserve. To preserve harmony 
among the ministers and churches, and as far as practicable give gen- 

238 The Plan of Union. 

real satisfaction, it was recommended to each of the three Presbyte- 
ries, to appoint four commissioners, to constitnte a Board to locate 
the Institution. This was accordingly done, and the following were 
appointed, viz : by the Presbytery of Grand River, G. H. Cowles, 
Harvey Coe, A. Griswold, and E. Austin, Jr.; by the Presbytery of 
Portage, John Seward, Joseph Treat, Lemuel Porter, and J. H. Whit- 
tlesey ; by the Huron Presbytery, A. H. Betts, L. B. Sullivan, S. 
Cowles, and D. Gibbs. 

This Board attended several meetings at different places, on the 
business for which they were appointed. 

Of course much feeling and anxiety were exhibited by dif- 
ferent towns to secure the College. Burton, Aurora, Euclid, 
Cleveland and Hudson were prominent amongst the competi- 
tors. " It was found difficult, at so early a period in the set- 
tlement of the country, to fix upon the most eligible spot." 

Finally, however, '^ at the last meeting of the Board, which 
was held at Euclid, in January, 1825, they decided to locate 
the Institution at Hudson, Portage Co.," in consideration both 
of the liberal donation of lands by Esquire Hudson, and the 
supposed favorableness of that locality for such an Institution. 
Having made this decision, they mounted their horses, rode to 
Hudson, selected the site, and drove a stake on College Hill, 
to the joy of the Hudsonians, and the mortification of some 
other people. 

" After the location of the College, the business of the In- 
stitution went into the hands of twelve persons, four of whom 
were appointed by each of the three Presbyteries then existing 
on the Reserve. These persons were thenceforth denominated 
The Board of Trustees of the AYestern Reserve College. In 
1826, they were incorporated by the Legislature, and held their 

Educational Institutions. 239 

iSrst meeting under the Charter, on the first of March, 1826." 
The corner stone of the first College edifice was laid on 
Wednesday, the 26th of April, 1826. 

The Trustees, elected in 1826, were David Hudson, Elizur 
Wright, J. B. Sherwood, Eev. J. Seward, Rev. C. Pitkin, 
Hon. H. Brown, Rev. S. Woodruff, Zalmon Fitch, Rev. B. 
Fenn, Harmon Kingsbury, George Swift, S. I. Bradstreet and 
Rev. H. Coe. 

The first permanent College Professor was the Rev. C. B. 
Storrs, elected Professor of Christian Theology, March 2, 
1828, and inducted iuto the office on the third of December 
following. Previous to this, "about twenty students had been 
collected under the care and instruction of a Tutor. From 
the time of Mr. Storrs' connection with it, the institution, un- 
der his judicious and energetic management, advanced more 
rapidly. '^ 

In October, 1828, the Trustees of the Burton Academy 
transferred the endowment of that Institution to the College, 
and the endowment was constantly enlarged by donations, so- 
licited for the most part by the agent. Rev. C Pitkin. 

On the 25th of August, 1830, Mr. Storrs was elected Pres- 
ident of the Institution, and inaugurated February 9, 1831. 
The duties of this responsible station he discharged with great 
fidelity and success until his death, which occurred on the 
15th of September, 1833. This was a severe blow to the In- 
stitution, coming at a time when other difficulties were already 
gathering around it. 

It was from the beginning, the determination of the Trus- 
tees to make the Institution one of the very highest order in 

240 The Plan op Union. 

literary and scientific instruction ; and to exclude from it all 
political or sectarian peculiarities. They were determined 
never to mount a popular hobby in order to gain notoriety and 
favor. This policy, the only true policy upon which to found 
an institution of the kind, they have ever firmly adhered to, 
but not without great trials and opposition. 

When the exciting anti-slavery controversy began upon the 
Reserve, it could not but happen that an institution which as- 
sumed a neutral position, and confined itself to its appropriate 
duties, should be regarded with jealousy by excited controver- 
sialists. Nor could men of a single idea, and crazy upon that, 
understand how those, who had the culture and training of the 
young, could be guiltless of slavery, and gag law, and suppres- 
sion of the truth, if they did not introduce abolitionism as a car- 
dinal element into their course of instruction. Hence arose a 
violent agitation, in opposition to the College, which resulted 
in breaking up the Faculty, alienating the excitable portion of 
the ultra anti-slavery element of the Reserve, and circulating 
many false and injurious statements relative to the manage- 
ment of the Institution. 

The manual-labor system was adopted and maintained for 
several years, at Hudson ; proving, as in most other cases, a 
sinking business, and a failure. 

The primary object of the Institution was to educate young 
men for the ministry. Hence the early appointment of a Pro- 
fessor of Theology, and the early establishment of a complete 
Faculty of Divinity. 

Yet, the liberal minded founders of the Institution aimed 
at no merely partial, professional system of education; but, 

Educational Institutions. 241 

with a careful regard for all the intellectual interests of society, 
determined to aflford facilities for the most thorough, men- 
tal culture, and discipline of all the faculties of the mind. 
The course of instruction adopted in the Collegiate department 
was substantially the same with that of the best eastern Col- 
leges. The classics, and higher mathematics, as well as the 
natural sciences, have always received strict attention and tho- 
rough study. While at the same time, it has been the aim to 
exert such moral and religious influences over the students as 
should fit them for the highest usefulness and honor both for 
time and eternity. 

In 1834, Rev. George E. Pierce, D. D., was inaugurated as 
President of the Institution, and entered upon his duties with 
such vigor, perseverance, and large views, as rapidly advanced 
it, in both its literary interests and material resources. 

Yale College was the model upon which the President and 
his co-laborers aimed to form the growing Institution, and no 
efforts nor expense were spared to realize, as fast as possible, 
the high ideal. 

Within a few years the curriculum was brought up to the 
Yale standard, and a Faculty secured, which, for thorough 
scholarship and professional ability, has probably never been 
equaled by any other western Institution. In his choice of 
Professors, the President exhibited a sagacity and success un- 
surpassed. At the same time, the most vigorous efforts were 
prosecuted to secure an endowment adequate to support the 
Faculty employed. In this enterprise. President Pierce la- 
bored long, and with a patient fortitude and self-denial seldom 
equaled. And though, from the nature of the case, success 

242 The Plan or Union. 

came slowly, the project was not abandoned until pledges were 
secured adequate to place the Institution upon an independent 
and efl&cient basis. 

But while this effort was in progress, it was only by the 
greatest self-denial and difficulty that the Institution was en- 
abled to hold upon its way. Seldom have pioneers in any en- 
terprise experienced severer trials and privations than the 
members of that Faculty. 

In order to secure an endowment and sustain the Professors, 
the President was compelled to do what no President of such 
an Institution ought to do, become a financial agent, and de- 
vote himself mainly to ont-door work. This President Pierce 
did, with praiseworthy self-denial, yet greatly to his own detri- 
ment. For in this way he became known to the peeple chiefly 
as a solicitor of funds, and was necessarily almost a stranger to 
the students, and so failed of the affection and sympathy which 
would have been secured, could he have devoted himself to his 
appropriate functions. 

Nor was it strange that the Professors living so long upon 
half rations, with tempting offers before them, from eastern 
Institutions, should at length have grown restive. 

Other causes may also have operated to produce that most 
unfortunate alienation among the Faculty, Trustees, and, at 
length, friends generally of the Institution, which, at the very 
moment when the endowment was considered secured, scat- 
tered the Faculty and students, caused the suspension of the 
Theological Seminary, and well nigh broke up the College. 

As in all similar difficulties, there were true friends of the 
Institution on each side, and errors on each side. And we 

Fducational Institutions. 243 

are now only interested to know that the controversy is ended, 
and that the Institution again gives promise of being what it 
should be. President Pierce retired in 1855, recommending, 
with his usual sagacity, a successor who enjoys the confidence 
and respect of all. President H. L. Hitchcock, D. D., finds the 
Institution in much better condition than did his predecessor. 
May he succeed in completing the structure for which so 
broad a foundation has been laid. President Pierce will be 
remembered with gratitude and respect, for his successful ef- 
forts in securing an endowment and a first class literary re- 
putation for the Institution. The large classes of thorough 
students graduated between the years 1840 and 1850, are 
standing indices of the high character and position which the 
College assumed during his administration. 

Western Reserve College, like all valuable products, and 
institutions that aim to elevate and form public sentiment, 
rather than pander to popular prejudices, grows slowly and 
amid difiiculties. But its course is upward ; and when other 
fast institutions shall be viewed according to their true merits, 
in the light of a higher general culture, this will more and 
more be esteemed and resorted to by those who seek thorough 
and compressive education. 

The following statistics show the porgress of the College 
during President Pierce's administration : 

The Catalogue of 1835 showed a President, four Professors and one 

Faculty. Theol. Stud'ts, Seniors. Juniors. Sophomores. Freshmen. 

1835 6 3 5 8 7 14 
1842 11 20 9 13 16 19 
1848 12 22 13 17 13 14 

244 The Plan op Union. 

The whole number of Alumni in 1848, was 153 ; and of these, 43 
had entered the ministry. 

An efficient Preparatory Department or Classical Academy has also 
been constantly maintained. 

A Medical Department was also organized at Cleveland, in 1844, 
vhich yearly graduates very large classes. 


The Hudson Institution was the offspring and organ of the 
Churches embraced in the Plan of Union. 

The dissenting and radical Congregationalists of the region, 
also originated an Institution to represent their peculiar views 
of theology, education and social philosophy. 'In this effort, 
they were much more successful than in the establishment 
of ecclesiastical bodies ; yet, by dividing the educational inter- 
ests, resources and sympathies of the Reserve, they caused two 
half fed institutions to struggle for a subsistence, where there 
should have been one, efficient and well endowed. 

The principal agent in establishing the new Institute, was 
the Rev. J. Shipherd. Five hundred acres of land were con- 
ditionally pledged for the Institution, by Messrs. Street and 
Hughes, of New Haven, Conn. Upon this land the College 
buildings now stand. 

In the winter of 1832, a voluntary Board of Trustees held 
their first meeting, in a small Indian encampment, upon the 
chosen site, which was otherwise a dense, unbroken forest. 
The land was level and wet, almost inaccessible by roads, and 
the prospect for a settlement forbidding in the extreme. 

" The requisite surveys having been made, the first tree was 
felled March 15, 1833, by P. P. Pease. April 3, he came on 

Educational Institutions. 245 

with two men. Ax in hand, they cut a road for their ox- 
wagon, through the forest, fixed their home on the south-east 
corner of the public square, leaned some boards upon a pole, 
resting upon forked posts, built their watch fires, and here, 
surrounded by owls and wolves, they spent their nights." A 
cabin was soon built, into which Mr. Pease moved his family; 
and thus began the Oberlin Colony, 

The name, Oberlin, was adopted from regard to the memory 
of Rev. J. F. Oberlin, a benevolent minister of Waldbach, 
Switzerland, who died in 1826. 

Other families soon arrived, zealous to engage in the work 
of building up the new Institution. Religious services and a 
Sabbath School were, at first, held under the trees, upon the 
spot where the Church now stands. 

Oberlin Hall was erected during the first summer, and in 
December, 1833, a school was opened by a Mr. Scoville, from 
the Western Reserve College, having forty scholars. 

A Charter, with University privileges, was obtained in the 
winter of 1833-4. Permanent instructors arrived in May fol- 
lowing. They were. Professors Waldo and Dascomb, and Mr. 
Daniel Branch, with their wives. President Mahan came in 
the Spring of 1835 ; in June of the same year. Professors 
Finney and Morgan, and, later. Professor Cowles. The first 
College class was organized in October, 1834, consisting of 
four members ; this class grew to twenty-eight, who graduated 
in 1838. In 1835, an advanced class of four members en- 
tered, who graduated in 1837. The year 1835 was one of 
great enlargement. The buildings were hurried forward un- 
der great difficulties, and at great expense. 

246 The Plan of Union. 

The character and peculiarities of the Institute may be 
gathered, in part, from the following published statement of 


1. To educate j'ouths of both sexes, so as to secure the development 
of a strong mind in a sound body, cnnoected with a permanent, vigor- 
ous, progressive piety ; all to be aided by a judicious system of manual 

2. To beget and to confirm in the process of education, the habit of 
self-denial, patient endurance, a chastened moral courage, and a de- 
vout consecration of the whole being to God, in seeking the best good 
of man. 

3. To establish imiversal liberty by the abolition of every form of 

4. To avoid the debasing association of the heathen classics, and 
make the Bible a text book in all the departments of education. 

6. To raise up a church and ministers who shall be known and read 
of all men, in deep sympathy with Christ, in holy living, and in effi- 
cient action against all which God forbids. 

6. To furnish a Seminary, affording thorough instruction in all the 
branches of an education for both sexes, and in which colored persons, 
of poth sexes, shall be freely admitted, and on terms of equality and 

The Institution, planted upon this basis, soon became the 
peculiar favorite of a large class of people, and the object of 
distrust, grief and abhorrence to another class. 

Taking a prominent position in the varied social reforms 
that occupied the public attention, and particularly in the 
anti-slavery agitation; and at the same time making very 
prominent some doctrinal peculiarities that are rejected by 
most of the Presbyterians and Congregationalists of the couu- 

Educational Institutions. 247 

try ; and assuming an aggressive attitude toward the churches 
in connection with the Presbyteries of the Reserve, which led 
in many cases to divisions and strife ; it was not strange that 
Oberlin soon attained a very extended notoriety. The con- 
ceited Young Americanism of the students, mosf of whom 
went abroad as imitators of the leading Professors, and zeal- 
ous propagandists of their sentiments ; Graham dietetics ; and 
the peculiar respect shown to negroes, added to their notoriety. 

The opposition made to the Greek and Latin Classics, and 
the consequent light esteem in which those languages were 
held, at one time came nigh destroying the Institute, by a 
withdrawal of its Charter. But it is believed that the radical 
and eccentric features of the Institution, have been considera- 
bly modified. That it has accomplished very much for popu- 
lar education cannot be doubted ; though it is questioned 
whether the students have generally attained that thorough 
mental discipline which a College should afford. 

It has been called the " People's College ;'^ and it is such, 
in that it has entered largely into the sympathies, and brought 
itself down to the sentiments, and intellectual standards, of 
the community. And there can be no question, that this is 
the way to secure speedy popularity in a western settlement. 
Probably Oberlin is, on the whole, the best exponent of crude, 
western society, that has yet appeared. It is a perfectly in- 
digenous product of the Reserve; and could not fail to be 
popular with the masses, particularly the radical portion, and 
those who desire cheap education. 

But is it the true mission of a College to popularize educa- 
tion J or to lower itself to the sentiments of a new and half- 

248 The Plan of Union. 

formed society ? Is it not rather the object of such institu- 
tions to erect a beacon, high above common standards, and to 
endeavor to raise the sentiments and educational standards of 
the masses ? Is a popularity desirable for such an institution, 
which is won and held by sectarian, sectional, social, political, 
or merely Theological peculiarities, and not by its known abil- 
ity and facilities for securing the very highest mental disci- 
pline, and literary and scientific attainments? 

Acknowledging, therefore, the success of Oberlin, in win- 
ning popular favor, and doing much for the education of the 
youth of our country; and admiring, also, the liberal senti- 
ments and high moral tone of its Trustees and Faculty j ap- 
proving, moreover, the philanthropic spirit manifested for the 
colored portion of our citizens ; the historian can not but re- 
gret that they have not maintained a higher standard of intel- 
lectual culture ; and that they have made their social, denomi- 
national, and political peculiarities so prominent as to alienate 
most of the wholesome, conservative portion of society ; and 
have sent forth so many conceited and noisy declaimers, and 
so few thoroughly educated, substantial, working scholars. 

At the same time, there is reason to believe that as society 
improves, the policy of the Institution and its constituents will 
be favorably modified ; indeed this has already been done to a 
very encouraging extent. We will therefore rather hope for 
what is to be done, than complain of what is not yet done. 

It can not be regarded as otherwise than unfortunate that 
two Colleges should have been started so near together, and 
the feeble energies and limited resources of the friends of 
sound education, have been divided ; and thus two weak and 

Educational Institutions. 249 

crippled institutions have been nursed along, instead of one 
strong and well sustained College, that might have done far 
more than many weak ones. 

Will sects and parties and partizans ever learn to consult 
the true interests of society, and exercise that mutual charity 
and concession, without which there can be no effective co- 
operation and true progress in any of the great interests of 
our race ? 

Oberlin, as well as Hudson, has secured, of late, a comforta- 
ble endowment, and we may hope will be still more liberally 
patronized. There is, however, this difficulty ; the endowment 
obtained has been secured by selling scholarships at so low a 
rate, that it is to be feared the number of students will greatly 
exceed the facilities for instruction, necessitating either too 
large classes, and inferior instruction, or the employment of 
more instructors than the endowment will support. 

The plan of raising endowments, by the sale of scholarships, 
seems to be a accessary evil in founding Colleges in new coun- 
tries. But the evil ought to be always reduced as much as 
possible, by putting the permanent scholarships high enough 
to prevent the Institution from being burdened, and the value 
of the instruction neutralized by an excessive influx of no«- 
paying students. 

The number of students at Oberlin has always been large, 
particularly in the primary and preparatory departments, and 
the female Seminary. The number of graduates and advanced 
students, has been fair, though small compared with the whole 
number on the Catalogue. The following statistics, as also 
many of the preceding statements, are taken from an article in 
the Oberlin Evangelist, published in 1853 : 

250 The Plan or Union • 

The first Theological classes were formed ia 1835. They were 
Senior and Junior, thirty-five students. 

The whole number of difi'erent students from the beginning is 

Young women 2,163 

Young men 3,310 

Of these, 137 completed a Theological course, 230 a College course, 
109 the Ladies' course. Thirty-two ladies have graduated from Col- 
lege. Of these, the first entered in 1837. Three graduated in 1841. 
The proportion of ladies has been increasing since the second year. 
The ratio is as follows : 

1834 37 per cent. I 1339 33 per cent. 

1835 26 *' I 1843 37 

1836 30 '* 1848 40 «' 

1838 42 ♦* I 1852 45 

Of those who have completed a course of study, there have died — 

Theological students ,11 

College 14 

Ladies' Course 7 

College Ladies 2 

Of College graduates, 128 out of 198 have entered the ministry, or 
are now studying for it, being sixty-five per cent. 

Twenty-two are Professors in Colleges or Principals in High Schools. 
Eleven have entered the profession of law, or are preparing for it. 
Seven are medical practitioners or students. 

Of the thirty-two Ladies who graduated from College, all are mar- 
ried but five. Of these four are teachers, and one a public lecturer. 
They arc the more recent graduates. 

Of the married, nineteen married ministers ; three, teachers ; two, 
physicians ; one, an artist, and one a farmer. 

Of the Board of Instruction, there have been twenty-nine holding 
permanent appointments. Twelve of these are now on the ground. 
All are living except two — Prof. Cochran and Mrs. Cowles. These 
died after leaving their posts. 

[Educational Institutions. 251 

Twenty out of the twenty-nine pursued a part or the whole of the 
course of study here. This is true of eight out of twelve of the pres- 
ent incumbents. 

The Trustees are regularly twelve in number, besides the President 
of the College. These have numbered thirty-seven. Four deceased. 
Three of these were members of the original Board. 

Thus have we traced the growth of the Presbyterial and Con- 
gregational Church of the Reserve, till, with half a century's 
growth, it has developed all the institutions and fair fruits of 
a mature society. 

The stranger who speeds along our many Railroads, and 
notes the numerous villages, each with church spires point- 
ing heavenward, as exponents of the faith of an enterprising 
Christian people ; who notices the thrifty farms and numerous 
evidences of comfort and wealth and culture, will find it diffi- 
cult to realize, that half a century ago, a few immigrants were 
here struggling with poverty, wild beasts, and savages, in 
dreary wildernesses : and Christians, contemplating the amaz- 
ing changes of the time, despite all that we have found to 
regret, can but exclaim — '* The Lord hath done great things 
for us, whereof we are glad." 




We have seen that the work of planting churches and sup- 
porting missionaries on the Western Reserve, was begun and 
prosecuted mainly by the Missionary Society of Connecticut. 
That Society conducted its benevolent operations for many 
years, without having any of its officers, or any auxiliary or- 
ganization in Ohio. But in February, 1826, in accordance 
with a recommendation of the Trustees, the missionaries upon 
the Reserve met at Aurora, and organized themselves into an 
auxiliary Board, ** for the purpose of reducing to system, di- 
recting and superintending the missionary operations of the 
Reserve." Mr. Seward was appointed President and Mr. 
Hanford Secretary of the organization. 

The Reserve was then divided into three districts, in each 
of which was a district Board, whose duty it was to superin- 
tend the missionary operations of the district, receive quar- 
terly reports from all the missionaries within it, and report to 
the general Board. A committee of six, twc from each dis- 
trict, were appointed to act during the recesses of the Board. 


Benevolent Operations. 253 

This general Board were, moreover, to act only as the agents 
of the Trustees of the Missionary Society of Connecticut, re- 
porting annually to them, and seeking counsel and co-operation 
from them, relative to all important business. 

This plan worked successfully for a few years, but in 1831 
considerable dissatisfaction appeared in certain quarters, and it 
began to appear that a general Board, composed of all the 
missionaries, could no longer acceptably superintend the work. 
In January, 1832, Mr. Hanford resigned the office of Secre- 
tary to the Board ; in September following, Mr. Seward re- 
signed that of President. Eev. Myron Tracy was appointed ' 
Secretary, and Bev. Gr. H. Cowles, President. 

The proposition was now entertained of appointing a Board 
of Directors to superintend the operations of the Society, but 
it was difficult to determine who should appoint them. The 
Trustees referred the appointment to the missionaries, some of 
them advocated the appointment of the Directors by the Synod 
of the Western Reserve, others objected, and finally the Board 
referred the matter back to the Trustees of the Society of 

The matter was satisfactorily adjusted in October, 18S4, 
when " the Synod, at the request of the Missionary Society of 
Connecticut, appointed six ministers and three laymen, to su- 
perintend the operations of the Society on the Western Re- 

At their first meeting, the Directors appointed Rev. J. 

Treat, President, and Rev. Mr. Tracy, Secretary of the Board. 

At the request of the Directors the Trustees forwarded a series 

of rules or instructions to the Board, which, with some addi- 


254 The Plan of XJNioif. 

tions suggested by themselves, formed the basis of their action . 
ever afterward. 

Under this policy, the Society quietly and eflBciently prose- 
cuted its mission, aiding feeble churches so far as applied to, 
within the limits of $1,800, until the year 1843, when the 
amount was reduced to $1,200 per year. 

The operations of the Home Missionary Society, however, 
became so extensive upon this field, that in 1851 the Trustees 
intimated a purpose to cease operations upon the Reserve, as 
soon as the way should be clear, and expend their means upon 
more destitute fields, further west. This design was executed 
in 1853. 

We take an affectionate farewell of the Society that planted 
and nurtured the church of the Reserve, extending its foster- 
ing aid over more than half a century of her history. 


In 1824, a society was organized to conduct Home Mission- 
ary operations upon the territory covered by the Western Re- 
serve Synod, which embraced Northern Ohio and Michigan. It 
was called the Western Reserve Domestic Missionary Society. 

In 1830, this Society eitered into co-operation with the 
American Home Missionary Society, which had been organ- 
ized in 1826. The Rev. Daniel W. Lathrop, who was Secre- 
tary of the Western Reserve Domestic Missionary Society, was 
also appointed agent of the American Home Missionary So- 
ciety, and efficiently conducted the Home Missionary opera- 
tions of the region for several years. 

In the year 1880, over fourteen hundred dollars were col- 

Benevolent Operations. 2 

lected and eight Missionaries sustained by this branch Society; 
and forty-six additional Missionaries were supported by the 
American Home Missionary Society. 

The next agent of the American Home Missionary Society, 
was Rev. 0. P. Hoyt, who afterward took that part of the field 
included in Michigan, when a separate agency was established 
for that State. 

Eev, W. F. Curry succeeded Mr. Hoyt, in the Reserve 
Agency, occupying this field from 1839 to 1841. 

The ecclesiastical difficulties that arose between 1834 and 
1840, and the organization of other Missionary Boards, greatly 
interfered with and retarded the operations of the American 
Home Missionary Society. 

Rev. Myron Tracy first began to labor as Secretary of the 
American Home Missionary Society in 1842, and as soliciting 
agent in 1843. His first Report, for the year^l842, shows 
that the receipts were only five hundred and eighty dollars. 
This was partly the result of an experiment to do without a 
travelling and soliciting agent. During the last six months of 
that experiment, only one hundred dollars were received from 
the whole Western Reserve. The Society then requested Mr. 
Tracy to visit the churches, as far as possible, and the result of 
the first year's effort was over two thousand dollars. 

Under Mr. Tracy's judicious and indefatigable labors, the 
receipts of the Society from this field, gradually increased from 
year to year, until 1854, the last of Mr. Tracy's agency, when 
the collections for this cause amounted to between five and six 
thousand dollars. Considering the adverse influences brought 
to bear against the American Hame Missionary Society, by 

256 The Plan of Union. 

"what is called the " Free Mission" Advocates, the above result 
is most gratifying ; and speaks volumes both for the Society's 
hold upon the churches, and for Mr. Tracy, its devoted and 
successful agent. 

Mr. Tracy literally wore himself out in this service. He 
resigned his agency January 1, 1855 j and died, beloved and 
lamented, March 27, 1855. 

The American Missionary Society, which represents what 
we may call Missionary '' Come-outerism," has operated^ to 
some extent upon this field, particularly amongst the more 
ultra anti-slavery communities; but to what extent, the writer 
is not informed. 

The greater part of the churches can not be alienated from 
the American Home Missionary Society, either by '' Young 
Presbyterianism," or '' Young Congregationalism," or rabid 


The American Education Society was organized in the year 
1815, for the purpose of aiding pious young men in their pre- 
paration for the ministry. This was done by donations to the 
amount of seventy dollars per year, until 1826, when the So- 
ciety adopted the principle of loaning the same amount with- 
out interest, payable after entering the ministry, if circum- 
stances should permit. 

In October, 1829, the Western Reserve Branch of the 
American Education Society, was organized ; and the resolu- 
tionadopted to support all the Beneficiaries of the Eeserve 

Benevolent Operations. 257 

without drawing upon the Parent Society. Through the ef- 
efforts of Rev. Ansel R. Clark, as ag^^nt of the general Society, 
a very successful beginning was made. 

Six applicants, students in the Western Reserve College, 
received aid the fir^t year, and colievtions were made to the 
amount of $1,208 in cash, eighty dollars in obligations, and 
large pledges of future contributions. 

The effort met with great favor amongst the churches, as 
appears from the fact that about thirty "auxiliary, female 
sewing societies" were formed, and several auxiliary agricul- 
tural societies. The sewing societies did much in the way of 
furnishing clothing and bedding to indigent students. 

A very efficient auxiliary was organized in Michigan in 1830, 
which contributed liberally for several years to the funds of the 
Western Reserve Branch. 

Mr. Clarke retiring from his agency at the close of the year, 
the experiment was tried, in 1831, of working without an 
agent ; the result was a reduction of contributions to $858 ; in 
view of which, Mr. Clarke was prevailed upon to return again 
to the work. For the next four years, from '32 to ^36, the 
Society prospered in all its interests; the contributions rapidly 
increased, and the number of young men aided was constantly 
enlarged; until in 1835, the sum collected amounted to 
$3,682 ; and the number of young men aided was forty-four. 

The results of Mr. Clarke's efforts in seeking out and en- 
couraging pious young men to study for the ministry, were 
very gratifying; and the impulse given to the general cause 
by his energetic labors, was felt several years after his agency 


258 The Plan of Union. 

The failure of his health compelled Mr. Clarke to retire from 
the service of the Society at the close of 1835. 

During 1836, although the number of the beneficiaries in- 
creased to 62, on account of there being no agent in the field, 
the contributions fell from $3,682 to $1,529. 

In 1837, the number of beneficiaries in this field rose to 
99. In the Spring of 1837, Rev. Charles A. Boardman en- 
tered upon an agency in behalf of the Society ; and in Septem- 
ber following, the treasurer reported, at the annual meeting, 
$3,750 received during the preceding year. 

The Society afterwards employed Rev. D. C. Blood to act as 
its agent, and continued to prosper both in collecting students 
for the ministry and funds for their support, so long as his 
agency was continued. 

In 1842, however, through some bad policy, a determination 
was formed to dispense with a regular agent; and the Society 
soon declined, and became at length virtually defunct. The 
consequences have been disastrous. The Theological Semi- 
nary dwindled ; and at present, almost nothing is done upon 
this field for the cause of Ministerial Education. The church- 
es are now only beginning to reap the rewards of this negli- 
gence. But they will yearly feel, more and more, the misfor- 
tune of importing ministers, and leaving their native vintage 
uncultivated. An indigenous, native ministry is a first neces- 
sity in every Christian community ; and it can only be secured 
bv working specifically for its production. 

One of the most pressing duties now resting upon the Re- 
serve Churches, is that of a vigorous, persevering efi"ort to 
licet students for the ministry and funds for their support. 

Benevolent Operations, 259 

And all precedent proves that this cause, like every other, 
to prosper, must have its agent, or pastor, whose time, talents 
and labors shall be exclusively devoted to the work. That 
miserly economy, which repudiates salaried agents, is simply 


Some of the early Missionaries upon the Western Reserve, 
were persons who had once seriously thought of going into 
the Foreign field ; and several of them were much interested 
in the foreign enterprize. As soon, therefore, as the churches 
began to get somewhat independent, they turned their atten- 
tion to regions more destitute, and began to send little contri- 
butions to the Foreign as well as the Domestic Board of Mis- 
sions. Considerable donations of provision, clothing and cattle 
were made to the Indian Mission on the Maumee. 

As early as 1831 or 1832, Rev. Mr. Treat, of Windham, 
made efforts for systematic contributions in Portage County ; 
and in 1833, the Western Reserve Synod '' resolved itself into 
a Foreign Missionary Society, and made arrangements to have 
an anniversary and an annual report at each annual meeting 
of the Synod.'' Rev. H. Coe entered into the work as agent 
for the cause at that time, devoting his whole time and 
strength to the work. His field embraced, for many years. 
Northern Ohio and Michigan ; and considering the compara- 
tive infancy of the churches, and the numerous other objects 
of Christian charity to which they contributed, the foreign 
cause has received liberal patronage. Two thousand dollars 

260 The Plan OF Union. 

were collected during th« first year of Mr. Coe's agency ; and 
the contributions have been yearly increasing, till now they 
reach nearly eight thousand dollars; although Michigan has 
been for several years separated and managed by a distinct 
agency. Notwithstanding the necessities of the Home field, 
many ministers have also gone out from the Reserve into va- 
rious parts of the world, so that our churches are represented 
in almost every pagan nation where the American Board has 
commenced operations. The diligent and devoted labors of 
the Agent, and his earnest appeals in behalf of pagan nations, 
contributed greatly to create and increase a missionary spirit in 
the churches, and to direct the attention of pious young men 
to the wants and woes of the Heathen. 

Several adverse influences have been brought to bear against 
the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions, 
in this region ; and have probably somewhat reduced its con- 
tributions ; though the agent and friends of the cause have 
ever been able say — " They that be for us are more than they 
that be against us.'' 

Many have opposed and decried the support of an agent, 
and endeavored to throw reproach upon the Society for incur- 
ring that expense. All experience, however, as well as rea- 
son, indicates that no great and good cause can flourish and be 
well sustained without its special advocates. The Missionary 
cause needs its pastor as well as each local church ; and proba- 
bly no class of men do more to diflfuse information, *! rouse the 
churches to .iberal enterprize, and keep up the tonr of pioty in 
them, than the advocates of our benevolent Societies. When 
we look over the world and see what the American Board of 

Benevolent Operations. 261 

Commissioners for Foreign Missions, and kindred Societies have 
accomplished, and reflect upon the fact that most of the means 
necessary for this great work have been raised by agents, and 
that many of the Missionaries were stimulated by their appeals 
to go forth and carry the Gospel to the benighted, it becomes 
a matter of thanksgiving to God that there are laborious men 
willing to incur the unpleasant and thankless task of soliciting 
funds and managing the business which falls to an agent; for 
without their efforts the work would not be done. 

The extreme anti-slavery sentiment of the day has also been 
tried against the Society, and, in some quarters, with eifect. 
Those who can appreciate no means of reform that do not 
consist largely in deunciation, excision and the Pharisaical 
" stand aloof, I am holier than thou ! " those whose con- 
sciences are so tender that they can not cast their mite into 
a box where a Southern dollar may have fallen, lest it should 
be polluted, when the box belongs to the Lord's treasury, (al- 
beit they have no such scruple about using Southern coin and 
products for their own emolument;) and those who would re- 
form the South and free the slaves, by withdrawing from them 
the missionary, and withholding the Gospel, and leaving self- 
ishness and tyranny to work unrestrained ; such nominal anti- 
slavery men have decried the American Board of Commission- 
ers for Foreign Missions as pro-slavery, and sought thereby to 
cripple it. Intelligent and liberal minded anti-slavery men, 
however, discover in this Gospel-giving Society one of the 
great agents that is efficiently working for the overthrow of 
all tyranny and oppression, both civil and spiritual, by diffus- 
ing the Gospel of Christ and turning some of the capital that 

262 The Plan op Union. ' 

would otherwise be employed to increase oppression, into be- 
nefieent, redeeming enterprizes, for the evangelization of both 
bond and free. 

And it argues well for the liberal and charitable spirit of the ^ 

body of our churches, that notwithstanding all the outcry and i 

counter organizations, and special pleading against the Ameri- 
can Board, they are taking it closer to their hearts, and yearly 
increasing their donations to its funds. * 

Extensive patronage has also been secured from this field ' 

for the American Tract Society, and other leading beneficent 
institutions, usually patronized by the Presbyterian and Con- 
gregational Churches; respecting which nothing is here said. ' 
Probably no part of the Western Country, representing the j 
same amount of capital, has done more for benevolent objects l 
during the last twenty-five years, than the Western Reserve. 

Date Due 

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